An under-construction pedestrian bridge crossing Rangsit-Nayok road collapsed on Friday morning (March 9), causing traffic to a standstill.
The incident caused huge traffic jams as it is the main road used by thousands of motorists to travel to Bangkok to work during the morning rush hours, and alternative route for those leaving Bangkok to other destinations in the East and the Northeast.
Highways officials said it would take more than five hours before the 20-ton and 36-metre long concrete beam which fell and blocked all traffic lanes of the road.
According to Pathumthani highways office acting director Rung Buayairaksa, the incident happened at about 6 am on the road near Klong 6 in front of a government-run medical facility for mental patients in Thanyaburi district.
There were no injuries in the incident but a crane truck was damaged when the beam fell on it.
He said the incident happened while workers were installing a new pedestrian bridge crossing the road.
Construction workers had closed the road from 10pm last night to allow the bridge installation.
He said the first concrete beam was installed, and the second beam was being lifted by the crane to the supporting poles.
But as the crane was lowering the second beam on the supporting poles, its sling was entangled with the first beam, causing it to fall on the road and the mobile crane in the process.
The incident forced highways and local police to close all traffic lanes on the road so new cranes could be brought in to remove the fallen beam.
Police said the incident caused traffic jams that stretch to over 10 kilmetres long on both ends.
Detours were set up for motorists but heavy congestion was reported in the area. Police advised motorists to use roads that run parallel to eastern canals from Klong 5 instead.
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