Belgian and Pole die after bridge under construction collapses in the Netherlands: criminal investigation launched | Abroad

UPDATEAn arch of a bridge under construction collapsed on Wednesday at a construction site in Lochem, the Netherlands, in the east of the country. Two construction workers were killed: a Belgian and a Pole. The two men were working. This is stated by the Dutch labor inspectorate, which has opened a criminal investigation into the accident.

LOOK. The moments immediately after the incident were captured on camera: “Oh boy, those people fell down!”

The two fatalities stood next to the hoisted arch on a construction tower of about 50 meters high. Two colleagues who were working on and under the bridge section were seriously injured, but are out of danger according to the safety region. They were taken to the hospital in nearby Deventer by two trauma helicopters. Colleagues who saw the accident happen were taken care of at a nearby company.

Nieke Hoitink, reporter for the Dutch newspaper ‘de Stentor’, saw the accident happen. “The arch was hanging in the hoists all morning. Suddenly there was a huge bang. The entire arc began to sway. Then the whole thing fell down. We saw two construction workers fall down.”

The tragedy happened during the construction of a bridge over the Twente Canal. Contractor BAM is assembling the new bridge on the quay next to the canal. The largest parts, the girders and arches, were lifted into the air on Wednesday and had to be secured together. That happened on dry land right next to the canal.

This morning it was announced that the highest point could not be reached today due to strong winds. Rain is not a problem when hoisting and welding the bridge sections, but strong winds are. It is unknown whether the wind played a role in the accident at the end of the morning.


The labor inspectorate has opened a criminal investigation into the accident. To this end, it is important to secure the crime scene, the spokesperson indicates. It is still the usual procedure that a criminal investigation has been launched, because people have died.

The Dutch Safety Board (OVV) has started an exploratory investigation. “We have been there, spoken to people and collected information,” says a spokesperson for the council. Whether the council will ultimately proceed with an investigation will be determined later. First we start working with the collected data.

Last year, construction group BAM was also involved in a serious accident in which an employee of the construction company died. A train collided with a BAM construction crane that was on the track. The operator of the construction crane died.

Bank holiday

Mayor Sebastiaan van ‘t Erve van Lochem says he is ‘very shocked’ by the accident. “Today we would be taking a great step towards a new Lochem ring road. The day that was supposed to be a day of celebration ended in tragedy.” After the fatal accident, he spoke with forty to fifty employees of the construction company involved.

Resigning Prime Minister Mark Rutte shared his condolences to all relatives and those involved via messaging platform X (formerly Twitter). Competent minister Mark Harbers said on the same social media that the accident in Lochem “affected him very much”. He wishes everyone involved the best of luck.