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Bodies pulled from river of Manguinhos in northern Brazil as high temperatures and poor construction blamed for the collapse
Thirty people have been pulled from the water by rescuers following a collapse of a ramp on a bridge in northern Brazil, including one man and woman who were killed by the fall, local authorities said.
The tragedy happened at the end of a parade for the Manguinhos district of the northern state of Piaui in an area hit by earthquakes in recent months. Police said high temperatures and poor construction were blamed for the collapse.
A wounded survivor was removed from the river by helicopter, the fire department said in a statement.
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Aerial photographs showed a large section of a wooden ramp on the main road in the area had collapsed, letting 18m (59ft) of the ramp fall into the water. It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse.
The 12-kilometre road runs alongside the north-eastern coastal city of Manguinhos, which is not far from the city of Monteiro.
Fourteen injured people were taken to a local hospital for treatment, including six with critical injuries, said the Piaui fire department.
“The road collapsed completely,” Major César Fernando, from the fire department, told television channel G1. “Ten people were rescued immediately, another three were pulled out later. The total number of people rescued was nine.”
Photographs taken by residents showed heavy damage to the area after the collapse, with many thick metal gates torn from their hinges and smashed into pieces.
Video footage posted on the city’s official Twitter account showed a large, open section of the bridge lying in the river, surrounded by cars, motorcycles and a football team bus.
Twitter (@Piaui_gov) VIDEO! 30+ people have died in a bridge collapse that occurred before 1am in #Manguinhos (PT:14km). More details tomorrow.#RIPTata de inquência #Unificamento pic.twitter.com/4QTqBQoqSF
Video from the scene showed fans and performers in the marching band of the Ouro Preto municipal football team rushing to the rescue before being helped to safety.
The official Twitter account of the Piaui state government, @Piaui_gov, posted video footage of the disaster before dawn on Thursday.
The state government said in a statement that the bridge was a link to an underground bridge that had opened in 2015 and replaced one that was closed down in 2012 following an accident.
“In the last few weeks, the area experienced several earthquakes, and inspections had been carried out. We take this very seriously,” the state government said.
Large parts of Manguinhos are still under construction after an avalanche of mud and water in 2011 claimed the lives of more than 100 people.