Belfast Telegraph

Bridge collapses as flood devastation continues in Northern Ireland

By Jonathan Bell

The devastation of the flooding last week in Northern Ireland continues to take its toll, after a bridge collapsed in the Desertmartin area.

A bridge on the Iniscarn Road was said to have "caved in" late on Monday night.

DUP Mid Ulster Councillor Anne Forde said it was likely the road would remain closed for some time and some farmers and homeowners were likely to be facing a detour to reach their property.

"We think the rain last week washed away the sand which undermined the ground beneath the bridge and it has collapsed," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"It is certainly very lucky it did not collapse with anyone on it over the past few days."

The councillor said she believed the bridge, a former railway crossing, would have to come down and a new one constructed, which was likely to take some time.

"I will be meeting with the Department of Infrastructure officials and request that they prioritise repairs," she added.

"This is a farming area and the road would be well used by many farmers and people living in the area.

"There will be people cut off and some will have an extra 15 or 20 minutes added to their journeys."

Department of Infrastructure engineers are working to assess the damage throughout Northern Ireland after heavy rain flooded many areas.

The department said that agencies including the PSNI, Fire Service and NI Water as well as rivers, roads and local government teams were continuing to work on the clean-up operation and hoped to release more information soon. More than 100 people had to be rescued from cars and houses due to sudden flash flooding in Donegal, Tyrone and Derry last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Derry City and Strabane District Council has said £270,000 in emergency aid has been handed out to affected residents.


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