Start of work to remove the bus that crashed from the river on Christmas Eve in Cerdedo-Cotobade (Pontevedra)

The tasks are focused on measuring the resistance capacity of the viaduct in order to use a crane to lift the vehicle 29 meters

Work to try to remove the bus that crashed on Saturday evening in Cerdedo-Cotobade (Pontevedra) from the bed of the Lérez river began on Tuesday morning, when measures will be taken to assess whether the viaduct through which it fell the vehicle is capable of supporting the load on the infrastructure which will involve lifting the vehicle 29 meters high.

Since 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, traffic has been cut off near the Pedre bridge, on which the Monbus company bus in which nine people were traveling crashed on Christmas Eve, seven of whom died in the event.

With the search for victims concluded with the location of the body of a 50-year-old woman on Monday morning, tasks are now focused on removing the bus, which remains on the river bed in a narrow area of ​​the Lerez course.

For this reason, the main way to remove the damaged bus – the analysis of which will be essential to discover the causes of the tragic event – is to use a crane to lift the vehicle 29 meters to the bridge.

In the morning, operators and experts linked to the Ministry of Transport installed plates along the viaduct to distribute the load. Then the bridge’s resistance tests will take place, which, according to sources consulted by Europa Press, could sink up to 15 centimeters due to the force involved in the complicated operation.

As the government delegate, José Miñones, explained last Monday, the main option is to recover the bus in its entirety but, in the event that this is not possible, it is not excluded that he will have to resort to his split.

The drop in the flow of the Lérez River after the cessation of heavy rains last week would facilitate that, in the event that the load tests are satisfactory, the lifting operation could be attempted this Tuesday. The objective is not to delay the operation given the forecasts for the return of rains to the area this Wednesday.

Since Monday morning, firefighters and agents of the Mountain Civil Guard have been alighting on the bus to carry out tasks in preparation for the evacuation of the vehicle from the river.

Thus, professionals felled trees and removed parts of the bus body to lighten its weight and also prevent water from concentrating inside the passenger compartment.

The accident happened at around 9.20 p.m. this Christmas Saturday evening, when a bus from the Monbus company, on the regular line between Lugo and Vigo, plunged into the river at kilometer 67.5 of the N-541, in the parish of Pedre, the a bridge about 35 meters high.

Two of the deceased were rescued the same night as the event, with a strong storm and through a “lifeline”, as it was very difficult and dangerous to reach the bus. Four other victims were located on Sunday and the seventh died on Monday.

Shortly after the crash, emergency services rescued the bus driver alive, who was transferred to Hospital Clínico de Santiago and has since been discharged. The man tested negative for alcohol and drug tests. A woman was also saved alive, who was evacuated to Montecelo Hospital in Pontevedra.

It was a driver who passed through the area shortly after the accident who alerted 112 first, seeing the broken bridge railing. A short time later, the emergency services also received the surviving passenger’s alert call from inside the bus, triggering the means of rescue.

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