An overpass undergoing demolition collapsed on Interstate 75 in Cincinnati late Monday, killing a construction worker and injuring a semi tractor-trailer driver, emergency officials said.
The collapse occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time, and sent several hundred tons of concrete tumbling to the road below. Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told Fox19 that he expects the southbound side of Interstate 75 to be closed for about 48 hours.
Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black described the collapse as "in essence, an industrial accident ... Something went wrong, and a tragedy has occurred as a result." Black said that authorities did not believe that there were any further casualties.
Panorama view of the bridge collapse on south I-75 in Cincinnati. This was the old northbound off ramp to Hopple St pic.twitter.com/yMOEcP1Jxp— Cincy Fire & EMS (@CincyFireEMS) January 20, 2015
The injured driver was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His injuries were described as minor and not life-threatening. No identifying information about either victim was immediately available.
"The big-rig driver is very lucky," Blackwell said. "In a matter of seconds his fate would have probably been different." Fire officials said the tractor-trailer struck the collapsed section as the bridge hit the ground.
There was no immediate indication of the cause of the collapse. Blackwell said the city will work with the Department of Transportation to figure out what happened.
A message on the city of Cincinnati's official Twitter account warned drivers to "plan ahead, leave early, [and] expect delays."
"This will be a mess," Blackwell told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It's not could or should. It will be."
The Enquirer reported that a man's body was removed from the rubble at about 3 a.m. Tuesday.
To confirm the bridge that collapsed was undergoing demolition at the time of incident, this is NOT the new bridge pic.twitter.com/H6sAaRNsJv— Cincy Fire & EMS (@CincyFireEMS) January 20, 2015
Police did not identify the victim, but a worker told the paper that the victim had three children under the age of 9 and a fiance who was his high school sweetheart.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.