Famous Bridge Disasters - The Worst Bridge Failures

Bridges are, without a doubt, one of the marvels of engineering. But they are far from perfect or indestructible and when they fail they turn into tragedy that, beside money, can cost lives. Here are some of the bridge failures that happened from various reasons.

  • One of the earliest recorded bridge failings was the failing of the Stirling Bridge during the Battle of the Stirling Bridge in 1297. Located in Stirling, Scotland, stone bridge failed because it was overloaded by attackers during the battle and it collapsed completely.
  • Tacoma Narrows Bridge , a suspension bridge in the U.S. state of Washington, failed in 1940 because it was designed poor aerodynamically. This resulted in aeroelastic flutter which practicaly tear up the bridge. Collapse was even filmed and since then all large bridges are designed in wind tunnels. There were no human casualties of this collapse.
  • Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed during the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989. Its upper tier collapsed onto the lower tier which resulted in 42 fatalities.
  • Tay Rail Bridge , between Dundee and Wormit, Scotland, collapsed on 28 December 1879 during a violent storm and in the moment when a train was passing over it from Wormit to Dundee. It was found that it collapsed because of faulty design, construction and maintenance. 75 were killed.
  • Sunshine Skyway Bridge across the Tampa Bay, Florida faled on 9 May 1980 after a ship collided with a pier (support column) during a thunderstorm. Six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound bus fell 46 m into the water, killing 35 people.
Picture Of Stirling Bridge
  • Silver Bridge , at Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio, collapsed on 15 December, 1967 because of material fault and corrosion. 46 died in this tragedy and 9 were injured.
  • Queen Juliana Bridge , road bridge across St. Anna Bay in Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, met its fate on 6 November 1967, before it was even finished, when it collapsed because of Construction support fault. It took 15 lives with it.
  • Cần Thơ Bridge , in Cần Thơ, Vietnam, also collapsed during the construction on the morning of September 26, 2007. It is still unknown why collapse happened but there were 36-60 killed and hundreds injured.
  • On 29 October, 2005 a flash flood washed away Veligonda Railway Bridge in India causing the train that passed over it to derail. At least 114 people were killed and over 200 were injured.
  • Rafiganj Rail Bridge , again in India, was sabotaged on 10th September, 2002 by terrorists, a local Maoist group, the Naxalites, by removing plates that held the rails to the bridge. The full death toll is unlikely to ever be known but 130 bodies were recovered and over 150 people were injured.
  • Maccabiah Bridge , pedestrian bridge over the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv, Israel, collapsed on July 14, 1997 because of poor design and construction killing 4 and injuring 60.
  • Seongsu Bridge collapsed on October 21, 1994.Reason for collapsing was structural failure caused by bad welding of the steel trusses of the suspension structure beneath the concrete slab roadway. 32 were killed and were 17 injured.
Picture Of Stirling Bridge
Picture Of Stirling Bridge Collapse
Picture Of Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapsed
Picture Of Cypress Street Viaduct Collapsed
Picture Of Tay Bridge Disaster
Picture Of Silver Bridge Collapsed