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NY Pedestrian Bridge Collapses, Killing One

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N.Y. pedestrian bridge collapses, killing 1

Structure drops 18 feet to roadway below

Thursday, October 10, 2002 Posted: 1:59 PM EDT (1759 GMT)

MARCY, New York (CNN) -- One person was killed in central New York state on Thursday when a pedestrian bridge being built over an unfinished highway collapsed as workers poured concrete, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

Alice Romanych, assistant to the New York DOT regional director, said the highway is part of the Utica-Rome Expressway, and the pedestrian bridge was part of an overpass for a state highway outside Marcy, about six miles northwest of Utica.

"While they were pouring the concrete on the bridge, it collapsed," Romanych said. "We don't know why or how."

Romanych said the bridge fell about 18 feet to the roadway below.

"There were about nine or 10 people involved, and we have one confirmed fatality," she said. "One DOT inspector was hurt, and the rest were contractors."

Romanych said she had no details about the person who died, and added that one person had been trapped in the collapse. She was not certain if that person had been freed.

"The first concern was to get the people out," she said. "Since the road isn't open, cleanup was not as critical."

The concrete-pouring was one of the final stages for the pedestrian bridge, which was to link a high school on one side of the expressway with a rural area on the other.

Romanych said police and structural engineers were on the scene, and as soon as all people involved were clear of the site, they would begin an inspection to determine why the bridge collapsed.

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