Mechanical failure on Danziger Bridge causes damage, injuries - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mechanical failure on Danziger Bridge causes damage, injuries

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Traffic on the Danziger Bridge came to a halt Tuesday after drivers were given the go-ahead to cross, only to find out the bridge wasn't fully closed.

Several people were hurt and vehicles were damaged.

"A lot of cars came across,"said Tony Reid. "When I hit it,I swerved all over."

"I'm just driving and I heard a bump, and my truck went up in the air," said Robert Ruffin. "we just hit it. We went from 40 to like 10 mph, and came to a stop."

Drivers said they hit what they describe as a ramp that sent their vehicles out of control, and in some cases, the vehicles' tires were blown out.

Ruffin said his cargo went straight into the water.

"My tables blew off in the water, because I was having a party by the house, so the tables flew in to the water," he said. "I lost control of the truck, and I was about to go out the window so I grabbed my console. My head hit the roof. I almost flew out the truck."

"I couldn't go nowhere cause my tires flat,"Reid said. "My rims cracked and everything. No telling what other damage I have under there."

Alex McKenzie was on his motorcycle.

"I just hit it at speed and the bike went up in the air, and I came up off the bike," he said. "It popped the seat up from under me. So I landed with the seat sideways and I just pulled over."

It's unclear exactly why it happened, but drivers say the drawbridge arm was up and there were no warning lights to stop them from crossing.

"I think this was a bridge failure - that's my opinion,"Ruffin said. "I might be wrong, it might have been an operator failure, but I tell you what - whatever it is, they need to fix it because someone is going to get hurt."

No one appeared to be seriously injured, but some drivers were taken to the hospital with neck and back pain, and their vehicles were towed away.

 "I tell you what, I will watch it when I cross from now on,"Ruffin said. "This is dangerous.""

 The Department of Transportation is investigating what went wrong.

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