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Bridge in South Carolina collapses, derails 5 cars

There were no injuries in the collapse that happened about 7 p.m. Monday on Cypress Gardens Road between Charleston and Moncks Corner.

The Associated Press

4/30/2014

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — Authorities are investigating why a bridge carrying a road over railroad tracks in Berkeley County collapsed, derailing five railroad cars that were passing underneath.

There were no injuries in the collapse that happened about 7 p.m. Monday on Cypress Gardens Road between Charleston and Moncks Corner.

Berkeley County Rescue Squad Chief Bill Salisbury says about a 20-foot section of the bridge collapsed. He says authorities are investigating whether the bridge collapsed by itself or whether it might have been hit by the train.

Salisbury says one driver approaching the bridge had to hit the gas on his pickup truck and jump the gap in the bridge deck. He made it over and landed safely on the road shoulder on the other side.

The derailed cars were removed from the scene on Tuesday and the state Transportation Department has routed out a 22-mile detour. CSX Railroad crews were clearing some remaining sections of the bridge that pose a hazard.

The bridge has been declared a total loss. It originally was built in 1936 and then rebuilt and widened in 1975.

The bridge was last inspected last fall and found to be in fair-to-satisfactory condition. It carries about 6,200 vehicles a day.

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