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NSW: Footbridge collapses onto truck, car

05 Mar 2009 3:15 PM

SYDNEY, March 5 AAP - A truck has hit a footbridge over a NSW highway causing it to collapse onto another truck and car travelling behind.

Police say it's miraculous no one was seriously hurt in the collapse on the New England Highway north of Newcastle.

The driver of the second truck has been taken to hospital with minor injuries. Three people in the car also sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The Devonshire Street pedestrian bridge, which spans the highway between High and Church streets at Maitland, came down after it was hit by an oversized truck passing below.

The driver of that truck was not hurt.

"A truck with a crane attached has hit the pedestrian overpass and brought it down on the New England Highway," a police spokesman said.

"The concrete structure's collapsed onto a second truck and also a car.

"The driver of the (second) truck and three other people in the car are believed to have only suffered minor injuries - which is quite miraculous, I'm told."

An ambulance spokeswoman agreed those involved had had a lucky escape.

"It's remarkable to think that a bridge has collapsed and nobody has died," she said.

"Those sorts of accidents so often go the other way."

No one was believed to have been walking on the overpass at the time of the accident, police said.

The highway remains closed in both directions as investigations begin and the roadway is cleared. Temporary diversions are in place.