15. The collapse of the Seongsu Bridge
$2 million to rebuild (plus compensation)
When Seongsu Bridge collapsed in 1994 in Seoul, the accident shook many Koreans to the core, as the bridge was a symbol of the new urban society that had been created in the city since 1979.
The incident occurred at 7:38 AM in the morning, on October 21st, when the fifth and sixth leg of the bridge collapsed and slid into the Han River. 32 people became casualties of the accident, while at least 17 others were injured, but worse was to come – an investigation into the construction of the Seongsu Bridge would discover that the collapse could have been preventable.
The beams, corner work, and welding were all found to have been severely neglected, and over the years there had been a huge increase in traffic – that the bridge wasn’t designed to support. The night before the accident, some people had even reported that the road on the bridge had cracks – but sadly officials failed to respond. Had they done so, the outcome may have been very different, but as it turns out, they had to pay out compensation to the injured parties to the tune of $185,000.
Since a new bridge has now been constructed on the site at a cost of $2 million, we do hope lessons have now been learned, so a similar event like this doesn’t occur once more.