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Seven killed by Dubai bridge collapse

At least seven workers were killed and another 15 injured when an under-construction bridge collapsed in Dubai today.

Dubai Police have blamed the collapse on a crane operator. It is alleged that the operator hit the bridge's columns with a 1.5t load of steel.

State news agency WAM has quoted Dubai Chief of Police, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tameim as blaming the unnamed operator and poor site supervision following an inspecting the accident site in Sufooh area, near Jumeirah Marina Mall.

"My tentative assumption is that the bridge collapsed because a crane driver had tried to lift a 1.5 tonne load of steel onto the bridge. The load, however, hit against the bridge columns causing it to collapse," he said.

"The fault is two-fold: the driver's miscalculation of the height of the steel columns, and a lack of site supervision," he claimed.

"The workers were present within these columns. This is a breach of safety practices which dictate that the site be cleared of workers before such a load is brought down," he said.

However WAM also quotes Matar Saeed Al Tayer, Director General of Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), as saying that the bridge collapsed when the crane operator placed too many steel bars on the bridge's top layer.

"From an engineering point of view, the amount of steel placed that was more than the allowed. There are certain safety rules that any contractor should adhered to," Al Tayer said.

"This is a human fault for which the contractor bears full responsibility," he said.

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