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Investigation launched into collapse at Pyeongtaek bridge construction site

Officials conduct an on-site inspection into the collapse of a bridge under construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Four deck plates of the bridge and a bridge support collapsed a day earlier. / Yonhap
Officials conduct an on-site inspection into the collapse of a bridge under construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Four deck plates of the bridge and a bridge support collapsed a day earlier. / Yonhap

By Kim Bo-eun


A committee has launched an investigation into the collapse of a bridge under construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, the land ministry said Monday.

The 12-member committee led by Yonsei University professor Kim Sang-hyo will conduct on-site inspections as well as review documents over two months.

On Sunday at 3:20 p.m., four steel plates forming the deck of the bridge over Pyeongtaek Lake collapsed. The plates measuring 240 meters in length fell 20 meters to the lakebed below. There were no casualties.

One of the five bridge supports also collapsed, pointing to the possibility it caused the collapse of the deck plates.

However, the order of events has not been clarified yet.

Some pointed to the fact the construction had taken place amid heavy rain.

However, Kim was quoted as dismissing any relationship between the accident and the rain.

Meanwhile, attention is being drawn to the bridge's construction techniques.

Construction had been underway using the incremental launching method (ILM), in which the deck is created on land and pushed onto the bridge posts with compression equipment.

The bridge would be the widest yet built in Korea with the technique.

The 1.35-kilometer-long bridge had been designed to be 27.7 meters wide with four lanes.

Although ILM is a safe technique widely used globally, this was the first attempt in Korea to use it for construction of such a wide bridge, and this may have increased safety risks, Kim said.

"The bridge was wide considering ILM was applied," he was quoted as telling Yonhap News Agency. "We will have to conduct an on-site inspection to determine whether this had anything to do with the cause of the accident."

Construction was 58.7 percent completed at the time of the accident. The Pyeongtaek city government began the 242.7 billion won construction project in June 2013.

Daelim is conducting the construction.

Authorities put a section of national road number 43 under control following the collapse, which created congestion for surrounding roads on Monday morning. The section leading to Seoul and cities in Gyeonggi Province from the cities of Sejong and Asan is usually busy.





Korean Language

"국제대교 붕괴 1시간 전부터 '빠지직' 소리"

붕괴 전조 증언 잇따라…'상판서 콘크리트 조각도 떨어져'

경기 평택 국제대교 붕괴사고 직전 '빠지직'하는 소리가 들리는 등 전조가 있었다는 주민들의 증언이 잇따르고 있다.

이에 따라 사고 전 상판 연결 작업을 한 공사 관계자들이 사전에 붕괴를 감지했는지 면밀한 조사가 필요하다는 지적이 나온다.

28일 오후 경기도 평택시 팽성읍 신대리 평택 국제대교 붕괴 현장에서 만난 주민들은 지난 26일 오후 3시 20분께 상판이 무너지기 1시간여 전부터 교량에서 구조물이 뒤틀리는 소리가 났다고 입을 모았다.

인근에서 식당을 운영하는 A씨는 '사고 1시간 전부터 근처에서 낚시하고 물고기를 손질하다가 '빠지직'하는 소리가 계속 나서 의아했다'며 '다른 낚시꾼들과 함께 대피해 있었는데 곧 굉음을 내며 교량이 무너졌다'고 당시 상황을 전했다.

평택호에서 조업하는 B씨는 ''투두둑'하는 소리가 들리고, 돌멩이 크기의 콘크리트 조각 같은 것이 호수로 떨어지길래 뭔가 심상치 않은 느낌이 들었다'며 '설마 무슨 일이 있겠나 하면서도 대피했는데 정말 큰일 날 뻔했다'라고 끔찍했던 순간을 회상했다.

사고 발생 무려 1시간 전부터 붕괴 조짐을 보이는 소리를 들었다는 주민 증언과 달리 공사 관계자들은 갑자기 상판이 무너져 내렸다고 진술한 것으로 전해졌다.

공사 관계자들은 '교각 상판 연결 작업을 마치고 다른 곳에서 휴식을 취하던 중 상판이 무너졌다'고 말했다.

국토교통부는 이날 붕괴 원인을 규명하고, 유사 사고 방지대책을 마련하기 위해 건설사고조사위원회를 구성, 운영에 들어갔다.

조사위는 이번 붕괴사고의 목격자 증언도 취합해 조사에 활용할 방침이다.

조사위 관계자는 '사고 전 소음을 들었다는 목격자가 있다는 말을 들었다. 그들을 찾아 원인 분석에 참고할 증언을 확보할 예정'이라며 '교량 붕괴사고의 경우 (상판이) 한순간에 무너져 내리는 것이 보통이어서 사고 전 소음이 발생하는 사례는 드물지만, 목격자 증언을 취합해 사실 관계를 확인해보겠다'고 설명했다.(연합)

 



Officials conduct an on-site inspection into the collapse of a bridge under construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Four deck plates of the bridge and a bridge support collapsed a day earlier. / Yonhap
Officials conduct an on-site inspection into the collapse of a bridge under construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. Four deck plates of the bridge and a bridge support collapsed a day earlier. / Yonhap

By Kim Bo-eun


A committee has launched an investigation into the collapse of a bridge under construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, the land ministry said Monday.

The 12-member committee led by Yonsei University professor Kim Sang-hyo will conduct on-site inspections as well as review documents over two months.

On Sunday at 3:20 p.m., four steel plates forming the deck of the bridge over Pyeongtaek Lake collapsed. The plates measuring 240 meters in length fell 20 meters to the lakebed below. There were no casualties.

One of the five bridge supports also collapsed, pointing to the possibility it caused the collapse of the deck plates.

However, the order of events has not been clarified yet.

Some pointed to the fact the construction had taken place amid heavy rain.

However, Kim was quoted as dismissing any relationship between the accident and the rain.

Meanwhile, attention is being drawn to the bridge's construction techniques.

Construction had been underway using the incremental launching method (ILM), in which the deck is created on land and pushed onto the bridge posts with compression equipment.

The bridge would be the widest yet built in Korea with the technique.

The 1.35-kilometer-long bridge had been designed to be 27.7 meters wide with four lanes.

Although ILM is a safe technique widely used globally, this was the first attempt in Korea to use it for construction of such a wide bridge, and this may have increased safety risks, Kim said.

"The bridge was wide considering ILM was applied," he was quoted as telling Yonhap News Agency. "We will have to conduct an on-site inspection to determine whether this had anything to do with the cause of the accident."

Construction was 58.7 percent completed at the time of the accident. The Pyeongtaek city government began the 242.7 billion won construction project in June 2013.

Daelim is conducting the construction.

Authorities put a section of national road number 43 under control following the collapse, which created congestion for surrounding roads on Monday morning. The section leading to Seoul and cities in Gyeonggi Province from the cities of Sejong and Asan is usually busy.



Kim Bo-eun bkim@koreatimes.co.kr


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