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Brazil flyover collapse: structural expert outlines possibilities

Investigations into the Brazilian flyover collapse may consider whether a support could have failed, a structural engineering expert has suggested.

Two people are reported to have died when a bridge in the World Cup city of Belo Horizonte collapsed onto the highway below last night.

Alastair Soane, director of UK body Structural Safety, said a support failure was one possibility when a large concrete bridge collapsed.

“Investigations will involve looking at the processes in place for design and construction,” he told NCE.

“It is possible that one or more supports have failed – whether permanent or temporary.

“In the past we have come across collapses in the UK and around the world where the shuttering used to hold the weight of wet concrete has failed.”

Soane stressed he did not have any knowledge of the Belo Horizonte project, but felt that support collapses were something investigators of any incident such as this would want to rule out.

Contractor Cowan, which was working on the scheme and has offices in the Brazilian city, expressed regret over the incident.

“The technical staff is already in place to initiate the investigations and define the causes of the accident,” It added.

Belo Horizonte is due to host a World Cup semi-final next week.

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