N3 Bridge: One of the people who sustained critical injury when a pedestrian bridge on Geldenhuys Interchange collapsed is now in a medically induced coma.
The victim (a woman) was in her husband’s truck along with their daughter, 17‚ when the bridge fell in on them. She sustained facial and head lacerations‚ fractured ribs‚ injured her left knee and left femoral artery.
Four other people were injured when the bridge collapsed, including the woman’s husband. Her daughter and one other victim have since been discharged from the hospital.
Her husband, Robert Banda, who spoke from his hospital bed, recounted how the bridge fell on his truck when Transport minister Joe Maswanganyi and Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi visited him.
He said he managed to get out of his truck after he smashed the dashboard. Band, who is unaware of his wife’s condition said he’s grateful and lucky to be alive.
On Wednesday, the N3 pedestrian bridge fell to pieces without warning, injuring five people, including a seven-year-old child. Three trucks and one car were damaged.
On Thursday, Transport Minister, Maswanganyi‚ Transport MEC Vadi and Sanral CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma visited the site of the collapse in Germiston.
Speculations have it that the bridge could have been damaged by a tremor that hit Johannesburg earlier on Wednesday. But Ekurhuleni Emergency Services said it’s too early to speculate on the cause.
Last year, SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) declared the bridge structurally sound after series of inspection.
Three government entities have opened investigations into the collapse of the pedestrian bridge. The bridge was built in 1978 and was closed off to pedestrians when a business complex was built nearby.
Meanwhile, the N3 road has been reopened after the debris was clear all through the night by crews. Minister Maswanganyi formally declared the road open after receiving a briefing from SANRAL, the Ekurhuleni Metro and officials from the Gauteng Provincial Government.
“I commend SANRAL for the work it has done in clearing the debris in as short a period of time as possible. This has ensured that we minimize the disruption of traffic flow on a route with an average daily traffic of 200 000 vehicles. Delays in opening the road would have greatly inconvenienced thousands of motorists and delayed the movement of freight on what is one of our busiest roads in Gauteng,” Maswanganyi said.