SHIZUOKA – A bridge girder slipped off a raised platform at a construction site in central Japan early Thursday, leaving two workers dead, police said.
Seven people were taken to hospital after the incident, which occurred at around 3:10 a.m., with two workers in their 50s confirmed dead and two others left seriously injured. Around 20 workers were building a multi-level bypass in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The police are investigating the incident and are considering charging those found responsible with professional negligence resulting in death.
The 65-meter steel frame, which weighs around 140 tons and formed the foundation of the elevated roadway, slipped from a height of some 9 meters, police said.
The employees were shifting the steel frame into a different position when the incident occurred, according to the Shizuoka National Highway Office.
The seven people taken to hospital are aged from their 30s to their 70s, according to police and firefighters.
“We have heard that many people have been injured. We take this incident seriously and we are very sorry,” said an official of Namura Shipbuilding Co., which said it was among a consortium that won the contract for the construction work.
The elevated bypass was being installed to alleviate traffic congestion, according to the highway office. The bridge is slated to open in the spring of 2026.