Pedro I avenue flyover falls down, kills at least two people

Among the wounded, there are one child and a city hall worker who worked at the flyover when it fell down

iG Minas Gerais | José Vítor Camilo |

Grande aparato policial e de socorro foi mobilizado para o local do acidente
LÉO FONTES/O TEMPO
Grande aparato policial e de socorro foi mobilizado para o local do acidente

A flyover that was still under construction in Pedro I avenue fell apart near São João Batista neighbourhood, in Venda Nova region, Belo Horizonte, this Thursday (03) afternoon. At least two people died and at least 19 got injured, according to the firefighters.

The flyover is near Lagoa do Nado park and a Fiat Uno, a bus of line 70 and at least two trucks have gotten stuck under the structure. A team of the Urgent Mobile Aid Service (SAMU) is at the place and has rescued one fatal victim. Eight firefighter vehicles are in the region. The collapse would have happened around 3:10 p. m. according to witnesses.

So far, the total of injured people hasn't been released yet. Only in Risoleta Tolentino Neves hospital, in Venda Nova,  there are at least 11 people who got injured in the accident. Among them, there is one child and one worker of the city hall who was working on the flyover in the moment it fell. According to the hospital's press office, all the injured ones are not under death risk and have suffered only minor injuries. The child's parents, whose age is not yet known, still haven't been found and it is under a social worker care. The health state of the city hall worker hasn't been released.

The hospital is under a special attendance scheme, used for days of big events or catastrophes. Nurses are already at the doors to assist quickly those who arrive injured. Prevision is that more wounded people get to the hospital in the next hours.

A team of the Development Superintendence (Sudecap) of the capital has been sent to the place to support the firefighters. City councilor Iran Barbosa passed through the place by the time it fell and published some photos on his Twitter. According to the politician, two people would already be dead and many would be injured, although the firefighters only confirmed one death.

"The metal structure which supports the flyover has given way. I only heard a crack and in five seconds it all came down. It fell over a bus, a car and a truck. The flyover has broken in half", told the city councilor, who witnessed the breakdown. The politician also said that, when falling, the flyover took with it the metal support beams of the flyover beside it. "I just got removed from the place. The firefighter fear that the second flyover may come down too", he said.

Belo Horizonte administration informed that they won't speak on the matter right now and said that has all its efforts in the place.

Watch the collapse:

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History

It's the second time a flyover built for Move (Belo Horizonte BRT) has problems. In February, the avenue got interdicted after a suspicion that another flyover of the region might fall. The flyover interdicted at the time would connect Itapoã and Santa Branca neighbourhoods and was close to Montese street. The one that collapsed this Thursday, however, is near General Olímpio Mourão avenue, near Lagoa do Nado park.

On February 6th, local workers noticed the structure had ceded around 30 cm. Sudecap informed that during the paving of the structure, a small side displacement has been noticed. Due to that, activities got suspended and the ways that surrounded the flyover was interdicted. On the 10th of February, the situation had been normalized. The structure got blocked not to suffer any displacements and is being constantly monitored by the staff on duty. At this moment, the flyover is stable.

The company

Constructor Cowan, responsible for the flyovers construction, was created in 1958, in Montes Claros city, 424 km from Belo Horizonte. According to the company's website, it has participated in the construction of roadways, railways, sanitation works, barrages, hydroelectric power plant and even airports construction.

Among their biggest works, besides Pedro I and Antônio Carlos avenues BRT/Move, there are also the Green Line (road that links Belo Horizonte centre to Confins International Airport), the duplication of national road BR-040, and Valo do Aço gas pipeline. Besides these works, the company is also making Confins Airport amplification works (on the runways) and Rio de Janeiro's subway.

O TEMPO reporting team has tried to contact the company, but they informed all those responsible for the company were in a meeting and wouldn't be able to answer at the moment.

Translated by Raquel Sodré

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