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'Completely destroyed': Wooden road bridge collapses in Norway

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
The bridge collapse sent a car plunging into the river, while a truck was also left stranded.
The bridge collapse sent a car plunging into the river, while a truck was also left stranded.   -   Copyright  Geir Olsen/NTB Scanpix via AP   -  

Two people have been rescued after a wooden road bridge collapsed into a river in southern Norway.

Police were alerted shortly after 07:30 CEST about the accident in Øyer Municipality. The collapse sent a car plunging into the river, while a truck was left in a nearly vertical position on a collapsed section.

The drivers of both vehicles were rescued in good health, police said in a statement. "There is no indication that more people are involved," they added.

The nearly 150-meter-long bridge connects the west bank of the Gudbrandsdalslågen River and the village of Tretten.

It opened in 2012, and the cause of the collapse was not immediately clear.

“It is completely catastrophic, completely unreal,” local mayor Jon Halvor Midtmageli told the Dagbladet newspaper. “It is also a fairly new bridge."

"It is completely destroyed, everything has fallen down,” he added.

The Norwegian Automobile Federation said the bridge had been checked in 2021, raising concern about the safety of such bridges.

A similar nearby bridge in Sjoa in the Gudbrand valley -- also made of glued laminated timber -- collapsed in 2016, injuring a truck driver. The collapse was later blamed on a defective joint.

Norwegian transportation minister Jon-Ivar Nygård was due to visit the site of the latest bridge collapse on Monday.