Bridge collapses at Puerto Jiménez

November 6, 2009

Part of a bridge that spans the Río Rincón in Puerto Jiménez, a fishing community and popular tourist destination in southwest Costa Rica´s Osa Peninsula, collapsed on Friday when a 95-ton crane attempted to cross it, the daily La Nacion reported.

According to the national daily, the 50-year-old bridge was only meant to support 35 tons.

The crane sustained severe damage to the cab, but the driver escaped unscathed. No injuries were reported.

Friday´s collapse came little more than two weeks after a bridge in Turrubares caved under the weight of a school bus carrying 38 passengers, which plunged into the Tárcoles River and claimed five lives. The Turrubares collapse lead to serious questions about the Public Works and Transport Ministry´s competence to maintain bridges and forced the resignation of ministry head Karla González.

In September, The National Emergency Commission (CNE) declared a “red alert” over the state of bridges in Costa Rica after a study revealed that dozens of the country´s river crossings were in potentially dangerous conditions.

National Roadway Council (CONAVI) press officials said that a new bridge is under construction, but for now the only access to Puerto Jiménez is by air or boat.

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