Tragic Incident of Seongsu Bridge In South korea on 1994!

seongsu bridge collapse

In this article we will share to you the hidden story behind the bridge collapse scene in korean drama Signal. If you already watch this korean drama, you will remember the scene where the bridge just collapse and it was actually inspired from a true event in 1994 in south korea. Let’s learn more about this tragic incident.

seongsu bridge collapse

Back then 27 years ago, on October 21, 1994 to be exact, Seongsu bridge collapsed on Han River and killed 32 precious people.

Details of incident

seongsu bridge collapse

On October 21, 1994 at 7:38 a.m in the morning, there was an accident between pers 10 and 11 of Seongsu bridge in Seoul, this bridge connect Seongdong and Gangnam areas in seoul. This bridge collapse and fall down on han river with a van and some cars together, before then a bus and other cars fell afterwards.

Recap of Tragedy

The two cars that fell from the broken portion of Seongsu Bridge instantly sank into the river. However, the bus that fell afterwards just hit the collapsed portion of the bridge and crumpled. The bus fell from 50 metres height and hit the bridge directly, resulted in the death of 29 people in the bus, other than serious injuries to many students and passengers in the bus.

seongsu bridge collapse

Koreans are always fast to help people, at the time of this incident, a vehicle full of volunteers rushed to help people that was involved in the accident.

seongsu bridge collapse

The government praise the volunteers that just immediately rushed to help people right after the incidents happened, that just saved a lots of people.

Seongsu Bridge Construction

seongsu bridge collapse

The constructions of the bridge used the beam based bridge constructions method, which is the standard of a bridge, other than the truth that the structure of the beams, welding and corner work of were neglected and led to the seongsu bridge collapse.

Night before the incident, some people said that the road of Seongsu bridge was cracked, yet before anyone could realize that something is happening and respond to higher officials, this tragic incidents just happened and take 32 life at once.

Rapid increase of Traffic in Seongsu Bridge

seongsu bridge collapse

Other than the truth of the neglected structure of the beams, welding and corner work, the huge increase of the traffic also become one of the reasons of this incident. The weight capacity of Seongsu bridge was only 32.1 metric tons as it was built.

Yet in spite of the increase in traffic, there are no extra security of safety measures taken by the officials to check on the strength and well beings of the bridge considering it has been decades since it was built on 1979.

The rapid increase of the traffic in this bridge resulted in the repeated overloading weight that goes through this bridge, which eventually led to the cracked on the road and tragic collapse incident.

This incident that caused 32 death, includes 9 high school students in which one of them are SNU students and one foreigner students. After this incidents happened, the news were all over the globe and has a huge impression over construction industry and image of the great south korea.

Government response

seongsu bridge collapse

Right after this incident happened, Seoul Metropolitan Government established a countermeasure HQ and launched an operation team in addition to a land and sea rescue team to blocked access to Seongsu bridge, and help rerouted the traffic to Yeongdong Bridge and Dongho Bridge.

Mayor Removed

seongsu bridge collapse

At 7:00 p.m. on October 21, 1994, 12 hours after the tragedy, the President Kim Young-sam, forced the Mayor of Seoul, Lee Won-jong to step down as a responsibility act of this tragic incident that cause 32 precious life gone. This firm action from the president really help ease public anger and frustrations after this incidents.

Bridge Rebuilt

seongsu bridge collapse

As the korean government started inspecting and planning the reparation of this bridge, they found out that due to the structural damage, it is impossible to repair this bridge. So they made the new design of this bridge that was completed on August 15, 1997.

The restoration process of this bridge was discussed and talked by many various groups of architects and engineer at that time as many people don’t want this to ever happened again in the future. Many of famous civil engineers suggesting the great and effective ways to improve the new restorations of this bridge.

Public Distrust

seongsu bridge collapse

This incidents create such a public distrust and doubts of the government and architects ability to reconstruct and built a safety bridge. However, other than that, it creates such a trauma for korean people as it took so many lifes, it was difficult to forget and back trusting the safety and the rebuilding of this bridge.

seongsu bridge collapse

Source: Yonhap News

On April 26, 1995, Seoul hired many modern construction companies to help speed up the rebuilding of this bridge and to recover the national image.

After 2 years and 3 months, Seongsu Bridge eventually back on operations. On July 1997, It was reopened for public. However,  the modern seongsu bridge you see today is the expansion plans of seongsu bridge that was officially completed in 2004.

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