M20 bridge collapse: Motorway closed between junctions 2 and 4 after walkway crashes down on to lorry

Motorcyclist injured by falling rubble taken to hospital with broken ribs

Lizzie Dearden
Saturday 27 August 2016 12:48
M20 Bridge Collapses

The M20 is expected to re-open today after it was closed when a pedestrian bridge collapsed on the motorway in Kent, crushing part of a lorry and injuring a motorcyclist passing underneath.

The road was closed between junctions two and four, near Leybourne, as the emergency service cleared piles of rubble and debris. The closure lasted through the night, causing travel chaos.

Witnesses said they felt "lucky to be alive" after the bridge came down shortly after noon on Saturday, in busy traffic at the start of the August bank holiday weekend.

Traffic came to a standstill after a bridge collapsed on the M20 on Saturday

Paramedics were seen treating one person at the scene, surrounded by rubble and twisted railings.

Photos showed shocked drivers getting out of their cars as long lines of traffic came to a standstill.

Andy Sunnucks said he felt "lucky to be alive" after falling debris hit the lorry and a motorcyclist who was passing underneath at the time.

“We came to a standstill and saw everyone running towards the wreckage,” he told The Independent. “We went to the wreckage and saw the lorry and the man underneath.

"He was physically under the bridge and wasn't moving. It really shook us up."

Writing on Twitter, Alex Magaisa said: “This bridge collapsed in front of us as I was driving on the M20 just moments ago. I just drove. No time to think. It was incredible. It could have fallen right on top of our car.”

Kent Police said officers were called at 12.07pm to reports of the collapse on the London-bound carriageway.

"It is believed a lorry collided with a pedestrian bridge which has collapsed onto the carriageway below," a spokesperson said.

"No people are believed to be trapped in the debris, however one person is believed to have suffered injuries, not reported to be life threatening at this time.

"Police are treating this as a major incident and the M20 has been closed in both directions to allow this incident to be dealt with. Traffic will be heavier than usual."

Emergency services at the scene where a footbridge collapsed on the M20 on 27 August

A spokesperson for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said paramedics were treating one patient and that an air ambulance was sent to the scene.

The motorcyclist, in his 50s, was taken by road ambulance to Tunbridge Wells Hospital with suspected broken ribs.

The M20 was closed between junctions two and four in both directions, while the M26 was also closed in both directions between the M25 and M20.

Highways England said the M20 closure would be in place for "some time" as police turned queuing traffic around.

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