Four Dead in Motorway Bridge Collapse

Tragedy struck at the construction of a motorway bridge on the Jánovce – Jablonov section near Kurimany in East Slovakia on Friday afternoon, after the bridge collapsed, killing 4 workers and seriously injuring another 15.

Workers who survived the collapse of the 50 m section of the motorway told how it started to crack before folding in at the centre, but the exact cause is now the subject of an inspection by two independent teams. The section was being filled in with concrete at the time, and although the inspection results will not be known for at least a month, the support structure was apparently insufficient for the load.

Rescue workers quickly arrived at the scene, getting the injured and the dead out of the rubble, but the accident would prove fatal for four young workers. The site is now swarming with around 20 work safety inspectors, who hope to find the cause. One of the companies working on the bridge is no stranger to collapses, after a bridge it was constructing in the Czech Republic also collapsed in 2008.

Five people from the company, Bögl a Krýsl, are still facing possible charges in the pending case, which saw eight people die after a bridge built by the company collapsed on a railway track. The eight dead, and almost 100 injured, were passengers on an oncoming train, which smashed into the bridge. Some licensed appraisers claim the construction was at fault.

This didn’t stop the Slovak Republic concluding contracts with the company, which will now surely be under close scrutiny given the odds of two of its bridges collapsing. The National Motorway Company (NDS) signed the contract for the collapsed section with a consortium of Bögl a Krýsl and Vahostav. What’s more, Bögl a Krýsl recently won a contract worth about EUR 240 million for the modernisation of railway tracks.

According to SME daily, nobody is taking blame for the catastrophe, with the buck being passed around like a hot potato. Bögl a Krýsl says its sub-contractor Semos was responsible for the work, while Semos puts the blame on the company Skruže Weise SK.


  1. Sunday lunch being an opportunity to have a chat with the locals, today I met a civil engineer and our conversation turned to this bridge collapse. He admitted that he holds his breath whenever passing over a bridge here in the east. “Why not in the west?” I asked.
    “Quite simple” he replied, ” if the EU took x-rays of just about any road or bridge built in the west they would discover why the roads are so expensive to build – 3 times more steel than required provided by a company with family connections ( brother) of well known politician.”
    Apparently here in the east to save wear and tear on the lorries, they just send the invoice – no steel!

  2. I’m taking a guess here: It’s so obvious that the Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development failed a big way that the minister should abdicate. I believe that it will happen. They will wait for the inspection result /that’s a classic Fico’s move, the only one he can play, while throwing as much mud on the former minister as he can/ but it must happen.

  3. A quick glance at an opposition rag revealed an interesting fact. One of the companies involved doesn’t operate from a gleaming corporate headquarters building, its’ registered address in Slovakia is a house on some nondescript estate. Mmmmm…….. said Ed!

  4. 14.30 Fri, Sat, Sun, Monday ?? So today is the FOURTH day , no ?

    You don`t publish at weekends ?? How novel, an actual website with opening hours and closed at weekends. How Slovak village ?

    When Russia next decides to invade , I must remember to ask them to do it, but not on a Saturday or Sunday, in case you miss it because you are grass cutting.:-)

    1. Yeah sure, 4.5 days in fact. unfortunately we did not consider it on a par with a Russian invasion. Sorry.

  5. ” the support structure was apparently insufficient for the load ” – Doh!
    This company has previous for building duff bridges yet still got and kept the contract. With the rail bridge case still in the tardy hands of the courts you would have thought someone would have been checking on any other projects this firm was involved in – apparently not. The comments of Bogl a Krysl amuse me, no doubt things are different here, but in the real world if a company sub-contracts work they are still responsible. Were they not checking the work of the subs? or is this a case of win the contract and then get some cowboy outfit to do the work?
    A sad and avoidable loss of life, lets hope all the culprits get time, lots of it.

  6. Well four days late in reporting, but at least it is accurate . Still waiting for a report on the Greeks 0-1 win over Slovakia . Not like we don`t have hundreds of expat Phil`s here ???

    Does anyone know which of the political party in power at the time and the Minister in charge that were bribed and signed the motor road deal with Bögl a Krýsl then ???

    1. well, actually your comment is less than 3 days after the incident and we don’t publish at weekends, but you know that of course. Pity we didnt run the story on Friday, knowing that you may have been able to help them in some way.

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