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Collapse of Palau Bridge

Palau Bridge

The Koror-Babelthuap Bridge in Palau collapsed on 26th September 1996, at around 5:45 in the afternoon, about 90 days after work had been carried out to eliminate excessive deflection due to creep during the 19 years since it had been built. The collapse was catastrophic, killing two people and injuring four more, and occurred under virtually no traffic load during benign weather conditions. Services passing through the bridge between the country's two most populated islands were severed; this caused the government to declare a state of national emergency and request international aid for the thousands of people left without fresh water or electricity. Why did a major structure collapse so soon after engineering intervention. Was the repair at fault or was the original construction at fault? A study has been carried out to investigate the various possibilities, and the conclusions, which have been published, are surprising.

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