Deadliest US bridge collapses in last 50 years
There have been a number of deadly bridge collapses through the years, some due to structural deficiencies and others in collisions or accidents. Here’s a look back at the 10 deadliest incidents in the last half century.
Hyatt Regency Walkway Deaths: 114
Where: Kansas City, Missouri
When: July 17, 1981
The walkways on the second and fourth floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed under the weight of guests. They then both crashed onto a crowded dance floor in the lobby. The American Society of Civil Engineers called it “one of the most devastating structural failures in U.S. history in terms of lives lost.”
Big Bayou Canot Deaths: 47
Where: Outside Mobile, Alabama
When: September 22, 1993
Part of an Amtrak train fell off a trestle into the bayou and caught fire. It happened right after the trestle was struck by a line of barges being pushed up the bayou, the New York Times reported.
Silver Bridge Deaths: 46
Where: Between Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio
When: December 15, 1967
According to eyewitnesses, the entire 1,460-foot suspended portion of the Silver Bridge folded “like a deck of cards” in less than 20 seconds and collapsed into the river. Investigators later blamed a fracture in the bridge for the accident.
Cypress Street Viaduct Deaths: 42
Where: Oakland, California
When: October 17, 1989
The Cypress Freeway Viaduct was a double-decker freeway structure that connected Interstate 880 to the Bay Bridge approach. The Loma Prieta Quake caused the upper deck to collapse on to the lower.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge Deaths: 35
Where: Outside St. Petersburg, Florida
When: May 9, 1980
A freighter struck the bridge, sending a bus, six cars and a pickup truck into the bay.
I-40 Bridge Deaths: 14
Where: Webbers Falls, Oklahoma
When: May 26, 2002
A third of the I-40 bridge fell after a towboat pushed a barge into a support.
Cline Avenue Deaths: 14
Where: East Chicago, Indiana
When: April 15, 1982
Three spans of the elevated Cline Avenue bridge extension highway project gave way, according to UPI.
I-35 W Bridge Deaths: 13
When: August 1, 2007
Support plates that were about half as thick as they should have been were the likely cause of the I-35 W bridge collapse over the Mississippi River, investigators said.
Schoharie Creek Bridge Deaths: 10
Where: Fort Hunter, New York
When: April 5, 1987
Faulty construction was to blame for the collapse of the bridge. According to the Times-Union, the bridge’s pilings were built on the riverbed instead of driven into the bedrock beneath the surface.
Sydney Lanier Bridge Deaths: 10
Where: Brunswick, Georgia
When: November 7, 1972
A freighter collided with a drawbridge, sending cars into the Brunswick River.