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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Bridge section crashes onto road
Bridge collapse
The fallen bridge straddled the road, narrowly missing people below
A 60ft (18m) section of a footbridge over one of Plymouth's main commuter routes fell to the ground, narrowly missing cars and people underneath.

An 18-year-old woman suffered minor cuts from flying debris after a digger on a low loader lorry hit the bridge.

The road from Pennycomequick roundabout to North Cross Roundabout was closed for nine hours after the incident on Wednesday morning.

Traffic was diverted via other routes while the road was cleared.

Train services

An operation was carried out to recover the low loader involved in the accident, the fallen bridge section, and also to remove other damaged sections of the bridge.

Another span which remained over the road was removed after it was thought to be in danger of collapsing, along with a central support strut.

However, diversions through the city were affected because Union Street was closed for the day due to unrelated roadworks.

Train services in the city were also affected because the fallen section landed near a railway bridge.

Bridge collapse
The nearby railway bridge was also closed
That part of the line was closed until the railway bridge was declared safe.

Police have acknowledged that the operation took a long time.

Sgt Andrew Collins, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We had to remove the second span and the upright strut because it was in a dangerous condition.

"That had to be removed for the safety of the public."

An inspection of the pieces of the bridge taken away will be carried out before a decision is taken on whether to repair it or replace it.

Police have begun an investigation into the accident.

See the remains of the bridge


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