Seven children, two teachers die in bridge collapse

April 14th, 2009 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Lima, April 14 (DPA) Seven school children and two teachers died and 53 people were injured when a bridge they were crossing collapsed in Peru’s Ayacucho province, officials said.
The 100-metre bridge was said to be poorly maintained, and collapsed as children and teachers from three schools were crossing. The victims fell as far as 80 metres down into a precipice, officials said.

Authorities acknowledged that many of the mountainous country’s bridges are in states of disrepair.

“Each regional government, each municipality, as well as the central government, will have to make detailed reports. This is a problem we have inherited from many years ago,” said Yehude Simon, president of the government’s Council of Ministers.

Maria Torrealva, regional health director of Ayacucho, said rescue efforts were made more difficult because helicopters offered by a private mining company were unable to reach the site due to poor weather conditions.

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