Two brothers were killed in the early hours of Sunday morning after a suspension bridge in Ayeyawady Region’s Myaungmya Township collapsed.
The bridge fractured after three of its four suspension cables snapped, casting the brothers’ eight-ton truck full of chicken feed into the river below.
The 1,450-foot bridge was built between 1994 and 1996 by the Public Works Department, which hired Chinese engineers for the project. It reportedly cost just under US$12 million to build and had a lifespan that expired in Jan. 2017.
Win Htay, the regional minister for electric power, energy, industry, and transportation, said the bridge has already been scheduled for replacement. Construction on a new bridge began last September and is expected to be completed by 2020.
He also said the old bridge had been inspected regularly by the Special Bridge Construction Team since July 2017. The most recent repairs to the bridge were completed on March 11 – just 20 days before the collapse.
Eleven has reported that commodity prices in Myaungmya rose slightly after the bridge collapsed. A ferry is being set up to transport people and goods between Myaungmya and Labutta in the meantime.
Divers have recovered the body of one of the brothers.