Rescue efforts have ceased in Colombia following the collapse of a section of a bridge near the capital Bogota, which led to the deaths of 10 construction workers, the country’s relief agency said on Tuesday.
In a statement, Colombia’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management said rescue duties had been completed on the bridge, which is to connect sections of the highway that runs from Bogota to the city of Villavicencio in an area known as Chirajara.
The statement added that three injured had been discharged from the hospital while treatment for four others was still ongoing. Another wounded was transferred to a hospital in Bogota, the statement read.
On Monday, Col. Jorge Diaz of the Civil Defense rescue organization told reporters that 10 people have been confirmed died.
“Nine died at the site of the accident and one other was transported to a hospital, where he died,” said Diaz.
The deceased fell from a height of approximately 280 meters (918 feet) when a section of the structure of the bridge gave way. Due to the area’s difficult geography, only two bodies have been recovered so far.
“From one moment to the next, the bridge collapsed, and people and the structure fell into the valley below,” said Diaz.
The bridge, which is expected to boast a length of 446 meters (1,463 feet), was due to be inaugurated at the end of March.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent on Tuesday a message of condolences to the families of those who died in the disaster.
The region around Chirajara is a particularly mountainous area where the highway from the capital descends towards Villavicencio.
The actual distance between Bogota and Villavicencio is around 72 kilometers (45 miles), but given the difficult terrain, the highway is significantly longer and consists of multiple tunnels and 46 separate bridges.
Reporting by Lokman Ilhan:Writing by Handan Kazanci