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Commonwealth bridge collapse injures 23 in Delhi

A footbridge under construction for the Commonwealth Games near to the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi has collapsed, injuring 23 people.

The 100m long, bow string arch bridge was being constructed to link the stadium with a car park. According to officials, the bridge collapsed when labourers were in the process of pouring the concrete on the deck.

The deck broke into three parts as it fell onto the roadway and car park underneath. After the collapse, the two ends were left leaning against the abutments while the main central portion lay on the ground. The deck hangers, which would connect the deck to the bow string arch, remained suspended from the arch. It is not clear if they were attached before the collapse.

The collapse happened on Tuesday – just 12 days ahead of the scheduled start date of the Games – and could threaten to derail the event. The same morning saw several nations threatening to pull their teams from the event because of concerns over the state of the athletes’ village.

Team leaders from England, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Australia and Canada had “grave concerns” over the accommodation and said some was “unsafe and unfit for human habitation”.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell admitted the village is “seriously compromised” and has written to the Indian Cabinet Secretary expressing his “great concern”.

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