The ongoing Diwali celebrations in India were hit by the supremely tragic news of a hanging bridge collapsing in the Indian state of Gujarat on Sunday, killing at least 141 people at the time of this writing. The bridge was reportedly over 100 years old and crashed into the Machchhu river. As unfortunate as the incident is, this is not the first of such tragedies with a strikingly high death toll.
Here’s a list of five of the worst bridge collapse incidents reported in the last few decades.
1. The Hyatt Regency Walkway, US
The collapse of two overhead walkways in the Hyatt Regency Hotel of Missouri, United States is considered to be the most devastating bridge collapse in modern times. The platforms, which were made of glass and concrete, crashed into the lobby, killing around 114 people.
An investigation into the incident found the engineering company which constructed the walkways guilty of gross negligence, resulting in them losing contracts in Missouri and four other states. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, it was “one of the most devastating structural failures in U.S. history in terms of lives lost.”
2. Whangaehu River Rail Bridge, New Zealand
On December 24, 1953, the collapse of the Whangaehu River Bridge in New Zealand crushed an express passenger train that was traveling from Wellington to Auckland when the disaster occurred.
The tragedy claimed the lives of 151 passengers after the train crashed into the river. The incident was a result of flooding caused by the overflowing of the Tephra Dam.
3. The Veligonda Railway Bridge, India
Located in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the Veligonda railway bridge collapsed on October 29, 2005, after it was lashed with incessant rain and the flooding that followed due to a nearby irrigation tank overflowing. The bridge collapse caused the train to crash, resulting in the deaths of around 114 people.
Much like the incident in Gujarat, this one too occurred during Diwali festivities and is said to be the worst such tragedy in the state’s history.
4. The Cần Thơ Bridge, Vietnam
Around 100 miles from Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh, a cable-stayed bridge over the Bassac river in the southern part of the country gave way. A huge chunk of the steel-and-concrete pathway fell onto a nearby island, crushing people directly below it.
The accident resulted in over 50 deaths, with about 82 reportedly injured.
5. The Morandi Bridge, Italy
In 2018, a 210-meter section of the Ponte Morandi bridge in Genoa, Italy, collapsed during rains, leading to 43 casualties. According to a report, the bridge was under maintenance at the time of the accident, and later investigations led to speculations that the collapse was a result of structural weakness.