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1 person injured in planned demolition of US 95 bridge

A U.S. 95 bridge collapsed while under construction Thursday afternoon, briefly trapping and injuring a worker, authorities said.

A Nevada Department of Transportation project had involved a planned demolishment of a bridge, and had closed Eastern Avenue, fire, transportation and highway officials said. Shortly before 4 p.m., authorities received a report of a collapse in the area and that a person was trapped.

The injured contract worker complained of back pain, and workplace safety officials were quickly notified, according to officials.

The construction worker was taken to a nearby hospital, and treated for injuriies.

“We do not have details yet as to the extent of those injuries and are working to get updates in real time,” said Justin Hopkins, Transportation Department spokesman.

Spokeswoman Adrienne Packer added that the collapse was not due to any structural deficiencies and that the freeway was not damaged. She said the collapse occurred as crews brought down an old girder that buckled.

The worker’s injuries were “very minor,” according to Packer.

Transportation Department officials said they did not believe crews did anything wrong, but Packer said she expected an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the collapse.

Crews have been demolishing the southbound section of the Eastern Avenue overpass as part of its $40 million U.S. 95 viaduct replacement and retrofit work.

Eastern has been closed to vehicle and pedestrians traffic under that bridge since Monday and traffic on U.S. 95 has been shifted.

The road had been scheduled to reopen late Tuesday night. U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 515 remained open and safe for motorists Thursday night, according to a Transportation Department press release.

“NDOT is closely monitoring the situation and working with safety officials to determine the cause of the incident,” the release stated.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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