14 dead after bridge collapses in Mpumalanga

11 December 2012 - 19:20 By Sapa

Fourteen people died after a bridge collapsed on the R65 between Lothair and Ermelo due to heavy rains, the Mpumalanga community safety department said on Tuesday.

Spokesman Joseph Mabuza said three vehicles, one of them a taxi, were involved in the accident.

"The bridge goes over a dam and it collapsed. The cars drove over the collapsed bridge and were swept away by high volumes of water."

The bridge collapsed around 9:50pm on Monday night, with six people initially killed and others missing.

"Police have retrieved the missing bodies," Mabuza said.

"The road has been closed that leads to Lothair, and will only be open for people residing in the area."

Motorists should use the R33, N17 and the Ermelo/Mpuluzi road as alternative routes.

"We have realised there is a prediction of higher rainfall in the province and people should be cautious when driving, especially when they see water on the road," Mabuza said.

"They should stop and inspect the water, because it could be dangerous to drive further down the road."

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