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An old and damaged bridge collapsed on Wednesday during heavy traffic in a central Philippine town, killing at least four people and injuring at least 23 more.
About a dozen vehicles fell into the river below in the coastal town of Loay in Bohol province, police and provincial officials said.
Regional police chief Roque Eduard Vega was able to identify one of the deceased as an Austrian visitor named Michael Osuchan, 30, who was staying in a beach resort in Bohol’s Panglao Island. Most of the victims were residents of Loay and nearby towns.
Vega said that the bridge collapsed due to the weight of the vehicles stuck in a traffic jam, including a truck filled with sand and gravel.
“The weight of the truck and its cargo caused serious tension to the bridge that caused its collapse,” Vega said.
The bridge was also severely damaged by a 2013 earthquake that devastated the town of Bohol. However, authorities allowed the bridge to be used while another was being constructed.
The truck on the bridge filled with sand and gravel was transporting the materials to help construct another bridge nearby.
So far, one car and two motorcycles that plummeted into the river were able to be retrieved by the coast guard, firefighters and volunteer divers, police say.