The media spokesman for the Directorate of Civil Defense in the Eastern Province, Colonel Ali bin Saad Al-Qahtani confirmed that a bridge on the Dammam-Riyadh highway partially collapsed on Thursday evening. Fortunately, the collapse did not result in injuries and rescue teams were sent to the site immediately. However, the Saudi Red Crescent in the eastern region was on standby to treat injuries.
The bridge collapsed about 35 km away from Dammam, near one of the police checkpoints and within walking distance of a police force training building. The under-construction bridge was not open to traffic. Failing concrete pillars has been attributed as the initial cause for the collapse.
The Director General of the Department of Roads and Transport in the Eastern Province, Engineer Abdullah Al-Sulaiman said that after the bridge collapsed, police teams had closed the road to the area for two hours. Engineers and contractors worked towards re-opening the road to traffic and to find a temporary alternative route. An investigation will soon be launched to look into the mater.
Social media users urged the National Anti-Corruption Organization to launch an investigation to find those in charge of maintenance work for bridges and tunnels, especially since these matters concern the safety of travelers. They also demanded authorities to name and penalize those responsible for such gross negligence, and to take precautionary measures to avoid recurrence of such big incidents in the future.