SOON AFTER a part of a U-turn bridge at Samut Sakhon section of Rama 2 road fell on top of several cars below killing two persons and injuring many others at 8.30 p.m. last night (July 31), a part of the Bang Pakong expressway toll plaza’s roof too collapsed today, Sanook.com said.
Facebook user Khajonsak Kaewsai posted a photo and video clip showing the roof over the first booth at this toll plaza heading to Pattaya having collapsed at 11 a.m. amid heavy rain.
This led to bad traffic congestion and officials are investigating what led to the roof collapsing.
Meanwhile Highways Department chief Sorayuth Suthassanachinda apologised for five tonnes of cement slabs falling on top of cars below killing two persons, one on the spot and one later in the hospital, and injuring many others with several vehicles also damaged last night.
A team of specialists will be inspecting the U-turn bridge to ascertain what exactly happened with the structure remaining closed.
Sorayuth said this U-turn bridge was built in 1993, or 29 years ago, and motorists have been using it throughout. A truck caught fire on the bridge several years ago and repair crews have been maintaining it all along.
Recently it was discovered that two points of the bridge’s flooring had been damaged and repairs started in June for completion at the end of this month.
Initial inspection reveals that the damaged sections had been scraped in order to put fresh mortar in. However this likely affected the rim beams that support the weight of the bridge and with the structure so affected part of it fell down.
The whole bridge will now be inspected to determine whether or not it is still strong enough for use.
Top: Bang Pakong expressway toll plaza’s first booth was closed after part of the roof collapsed this morning, August 1, 2022. Photo: Khajonsak Kaewsai
Below and Front Page: Slabs of concrete that fell from the U-turn bridge damaged several cars and killed two persons last night. Photos: Sanook.com
Watch video showing the collapsed roof at the expressway toll plaza: