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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Review of road bridges in England
Vehicles on section of collapsed I-35W bridge in Minneapolis
Four people have been confirmed dead after the Minneapolis disaster
A review of bridges on England's motorways and A-roads has begun following the collapse of a bridge over the Mississippi River.

The Highways Agency says its engineers will check any bridges that have features similar to those which may have caused the tragedy in the US.

But it says there are no bridges on its English network identical to the one in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Four people are confirmed dead and at least eight people are missing.

'Similar features'

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said the Minnesota structure was a truss girder bridge, none of which has been identified in England so far.

She added: "We are monitoring information about the Minnesota bridge and awaiting information about what appears to be the cause.

The probability is that everything is fine
John Knapton
Professor of civil engineering

"As a matter of routine at times like this, we review the data we have on our bridges for any similar features."

The checks were being carried out using the agency's database.

John Knapton, professor of civil engineering at Liverpool University, told BBC News 24 the agency's review made sense.

He added: "The probability is that everything is fine.

"But as a safety precaution I think they've taken the right decision."

The agency is responsible for England's motorways and major A-roads, which between them have about 17,000 bridges.

A total of 50 vehicles were thrown into the water when part of the I-35W bridge in Minnesota gave way during the rush hour on Wednesday evening.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
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SEE ALSO
Divers suspend Minneapolis search
03 Aug 07 |  Americas
In pictures: Minneapolis bridge
02 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
Shock as Mississippi bridge falls
02 Aug 07 |  Americas
Severn Bridge gets cable blow dry
02 Aug 07 |  South East Wales
Work begins on road link viaduct
20 May 07 |  Cumbria

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