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Technical Committee

Cover of the technical committee’s report to the coroner VPRS 24/P3 Inquest Deposition Files, unit 120

Cover of the technical committee’s report to the coroner VPRS 24/P3 Inquest Deposition Files, unit 120

With the rescue operation still underway, a decision was made by the coroner to establish an expert techical committee. Their task was to ensure that as much information as possible was preserved, to observe and record what facts there were on site and to maintain an open mind as to the cause of the accident.

The committee consisted of five professionals from the fields of engineering, metallurgy, building and chemistry. It was not the role of the committee to suggest what caused the collapse, but they did make recommendations as to how this may be investigated. The members also testified to the royal commission.

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch of the bridge’s construction from the technical committee’s report VPRS 24/P3 Inquest Deposition Files, unit 120

Sketch of the bridge’s construction from the technical committee’s report VPRS 24/P3 Inquest Deposition Files, unit 120

Two of the committee members were able to visit the site on the evening of the collapse and again the following morning. On the Saturday after the collapse, one of the project engineers was interviewed on site with the committee and police present . Other interviews of key project supervisors and witnesses took place over the following weeks. The committee also procured and examined records such as photographs, lists of works diaries, drawings and other documents found on the site.

The committee suggested possible modes of collapse. They provided a list of these and suggested which causes were most critical and required further investigation.

The evidence collected by the technical committee was invaluable in assisting the royal commission and the coroner with their subsequent investigations.

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