It was 8 am, Monday, November 18, when the suspension bridge of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, near Toulouse, collapsed. A 15-year-old girl, a passenger on a car on the bridge, lost her life, announced the Haute-Garonne prefecture. His mother, who was in the vehicle, was saved.
Some 80 firefighters intervened at the site of the tragedy, located about 30 kilometers northeast of Toulouse. Divers were probing the river and three helicopters flew over the area.
"There are probably several missing, we can not determine the number, potentially the driver of the truck, the driver of the estafette, we do not know if there were other people in these vehicles. the moment is to look for these people, "said the prefect of Haute-Garonne, Etienne Guyot, alongside the prosecutor.
The uncertainty remained on this third vehicle seen by witnesses. The bridge "was apparently being followed correctly," said the prosecutor.
"Complete renovation works" in 2003
According to the mayor of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, Eric Oget, "complete renovation work" had been carried out on the bridge in 2003 and the last check of the book dates back to 2017. "It is a bridge limited to 19 tons, we were very vigilant, "he said on BFM TV.
A study commissioned by the French Ministry of Transport in 2018 following the deadly collapse of a viaduct in Genoa in August of the same year (43 dead) identified about twenty bridges requiring work.
A report submitted in July 2018 to the government estimated that one-third of the bridges requiring repairs were for the 12,000 that are part of the national road network and 7% for those with a long-term risk of collapse.
A judicial inquiry was opened to determine the circumstances of the Mirepoix-sur-Tarn accident.