14ymedio, Havana, 7 October 2020 — The collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Matanzas left 17 injured on Tuesday, when they fell from a height of over 11 feet. The footbridge was located at the Las Cabañas recreational center (Paso del Medio), which was in use as a quarantine center for those potentially exposed to Covid-19.
The group was leaving to board a bus, after being discharged with negative PCR tests, and when the bridge collapsed they had to be transferred to the Comandante Faustino Pérez provincial hospital.
At least two patients were seriously injured according to the official press. Andrés Lamas, director of the hospital, indicated that one patient underwent emergency surgery for a thorax-abdominal trauma and another, who was hit by a beam, was admitted with trauma to the lower abdomen and lower limbs.
The rest of the injured were not seriously hurt, although a nurse from the isolation center was treated for a fractured elbow.
“The bridge split up with a great noise and we all fell into the river. We have received careful and prompt attention from firefighters, ambulances and the hospital,” a professor from the University of Matanzas told the State newspaper Juventud Rebelde.
Another of the witnesses told the official newspaper that “the bridge was bad, but nobody thought it might fall. We fell from a height of more than two meters, unexpectedly.”
The Provincial Government of the Popular Power of Matanzas published the news on its Facebook page. Among the comments, many of them wishing a speedy recovery to the injured, some highlighted the poor condition of the bridge, although the criticisms were not appreciated by the authorities.
“That bridge lasted long enough, ever since I can remember it was about to fall. But it is easier for them to let it fall and let there be injuries instead of fixing it, of course you cannot invest money in that, it is better to use it for shops and hotels,” commented one user.
Refusing to take any responsibility for the poor condition of the infrastructure, the Government responded: “There is also individual responsibility, if the pedestrian crossing shows obvious signs of deterioration, as you say, don’t use it. Seventeen people is a considerable burden for a flimsy structure, luckily we do not have to regret lives lost. Good evening.”
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