Rio bridge collapses after lorry crash, killing four

Aerial footage shows the aftermath of the collapse

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At least four people have died when a lorry smashed into a pedestrian bridge in Rio de Janeiro, causing it to collapse onto vehicles below.

The accident happened on a busy highway in northern Rio known as the Yellow Line road.

Another four people were injured, according to Lamsa, the company that administers the toll road.

Witnesses said there were only two people on the bridge when it collapsed just after 9:00 local time (11:00 GMT).

Normally the yellow metal bridge would be crowded at that time, with many children using it to get to school. But it was in less heavy use because of Brazil's summer holidays.

Workers attempt to remove a body from under a pedestrian bridge that collapsed after being hit by a truck in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 28 January Witnesses say only two people were on the normally crowded walkway
A woman is rescued from a car that was smashed under a pedestrian bridge that collapsed when it was hit by a truck in Rio de Janeiro This woman was in a car smashed under the bridge

Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters at the scene that the lorry's trailer was clearly above the 4.5 metres (14 feet) permitted for use on the road, which cuts through northern and western Rio.

Mr Paes said the authorities were trying to confirm if the lorry's bed was raised when it hit the walkway. Regardless, "an infraction was being committed because trucks aren't allowed on the Yellow Line at that time of day," he added.

Valeria da Paixao, the director of a day care centre near the site of the accident, told Globo TV that she "heard a loud noise, like an explosion".

"The walkway is used by many mothers who bring their children to our school," she said. "Thank God it's vacation time and we're closed. If it happened when the school was open we would have had a major tragedy."

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