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HS: Collapsed Espoo bridge not assembled in line with manufacturer instructions

The temporary footbridge gave way earlier this month, injuring 24 people, most of whom were eighth grade teenagers on a school trip.

Police barricade tape blocking the area of a footbridge collapse in Tapiola, Espoo.
The scene of the bridge collapse in the Tapiola area of Espoo. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

Temporary footbridges installed over a construction site in Espoo were not erected in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, the CEO of the company tasked with assembling the structures has stated.

One of the bridges collapsed earlier this month, leading to the hospitalisation of about 24 people, the majority of whom were eighth grade teenagers on a school trip.

Jarno Tuuri, the CEO of the scaffolding and logistics company Renta Telineet, told newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that the temporary bridges were not assembled in line with the manufacturer's instructions.

He explained that this was because separate specifications on supporting the truss of the structure were not provided in Finnish along with the manufacturer's user manual, but were available in English and German.

Tuuri noted however that the Finnish language instructions should have been requested separately by workers at the site.

Following the incident, the City of Espoo ordered an external inspection of all temporary bridges in the area. The subsequent inspection report found problems in how some of the bridges were supported and locked into place, especially in relation to the use of trusses.

Finland's Safety Investigation Authority (Otkes) is currently conducting an investigation into the causes of the bridge's collapse.

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