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Bridge in central Japan begins V-shaped collapse into rain-swollen river

The Kisegawa Ohashi bridge, collapsing in a V shape, is seen in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the morning of July 3, 2021. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Ishikawa)

NUMAZU, Shizuoka -- Part of a bridge in the central Japan prefecture of Shizuoka has begun collapsing into the Kise River after one of its piers sunk into the water at about 10:00 a.m. on July 3 amid sustained heavy rains.

    According to Numazu Police Station, there have been no reports of vehicles being caught in the damage to the Kisegawa Ohashi bridge on the border of the city of Numazu and the town of Shimizu, nor of any other accidents involving people. Traffic on both sides of the bridge has been stopped and there is currently no information on when it will be reopened.

    A resident described the scene to the Mainichi Shimbun, saying, "I was working at the office when, just before 10:00 a.m., I heard this huge sound, like a rumble. When I looked outside I saw the bridge was in that V-shape. Two cars went over it just after it started coming down, and a bus that was on it turned back."

    She added, "At first the V was not so deep, but at about 11:00 a.m. there was another big noise, then the V had gotten deeper." With a look of surprise, she said, "I'd been worried about the water level on the Kise River, but the incident happened just when I was feeling relieved after it had come down. I never thought the bridge would fall down."

    The Kisegawa Ohashi bridge links to the former National Route 1, and has two lanes.

    (Japanese original by Hiroshi Ishikawa, Numazu Local Bureau)

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