One dead as bridge collapses onto railway tracks in Russia

At least one woman died and five other people were injured in western Russia’s Smolensk after a road bridge collapsed on railway tracks, officials said.

The collapse on Monday interrupted all rail traffic in the town of Vyazma in Smolensk oblast, local officials said.

They added that nearly 8,000 households in the region were left without gas after the bridge collapse damaged pipelines.

Videos and photos from the site of the incident showed a large chunk of bridge in ruins, as local rescue workers continued to inspect the area and began clean-up operations.

A passenger car and a lorry were on the bridge at the moment of the collapse and fell or were overturned as a result, officials said.

A Russian news channel suggested that the bridge collapsed due to its old age. The Russian Telegram channel 112 said local residents had “repeatedly asked the authorities to repair the overpass”.

Smolensk oblast’s regional governor Vasiliy Anokhin said six of the total seven spans of the bridge collapsed.

Mr Anokhin said more than 160 emergency personnel were deployed at the scene through the night to restore rail traffic and that he was monitoring the situation personally.

Authorities have shifted three of the injured people to Moscow, the report added. A 14-year-old girl who was also injured is being treated in a local hospital.

He added that the gas pipeline was shut down to prevent any major incident. The electricity networks in the area were not disturbed, the governor added.

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased woman. The regional government will definitely provide assistance to them and all those affected,” he wrote on his official Telegram channel.