At least nine construction workers were killed and five injured when a partially constructed bridge collapsed in Colombia.
The uncompleted suspension bridge, located in Chirajara on the border of Cundinamarca and Meta provinces, was to be part of the highway that connects the capital Bogota and the city of Villavicencio.
The cause of the collapse, which sent pieces of the bridge down into a deep ravine below, is under investigation, the head of disaster response for Meta province Reinaldo Romero said.
Construction worker Maicol Lopez was on the other side of the bridge at the time of the accident and said there was little warning of the collapse.
“We all of a sudden heard a really loud noise, the steel cables that support the cable cars to put up the bridge started to give out, so we just ran and ran and tried to evacuate,” he said.
“There was a lot of smoke, and desperation in all directions. As we were evacuating we turned around to look that way, the beam was no longer there.
“We came to try and help our friends, but unfortunately, well, they died.”
Transportation Minister German Cardona flew over the site of the collapse later on Monday (local time) and visited rescue staff on the ground with Dimitri Zaninovich, the head of the national infrastructure agency.
“It’s a sensitive tragedy,” Mr Cardona said.
“It was a project that … was close to being done. Sadly we lost nine human lives.
“Thank God most people were on the other side of the bridge and that’s why this tragedy was not of enormous proportions.”