World News – UA – West Gate disaster remembers, 50 years later


Parliament in Victoria celebrates the 50th anniversary of the West Gate Bridge disaster, the state’s worst industrial accident

On October 15, 1970, a 112-meter span of the partially constructed bridge collapsed, killing 35 workers and leaving 18 seriously injured

On Thursday, both Houses of Parliament held a minute’s silence at 11:50 a.m., the time of the crash, as construction sites around the state came to a halt and cranes rang their horns

« A section of the bridge, supposed to be a beacon of modernity and cutting edge design, collapsed and in the midst of this chaos, flames, smoke, heat, 35 Victorians lost their lives, » said declared M Andrews

« It left a scar on our town too. For many years afterward, parents crossing the bridge told children about this terrible tragedy, mine included

« From the rubble, ash and heartache has come something – an understanding that every worker matters and that every workplace should be safe »

Workplace Safety Minister Ingrid Stitt said it was important to remember the tragedy as the state embarks on a number of new infrastructure projects

« We all need (should) refocus our commitment to making sure every Victorian worker comes home safely every day, » she said

Animal Justice MP Andy Meddick organized his own memorial in Queen’s Hall of Parliament, featuring 58 white roses representing those killed and injured

« It is extremely important that we remember the worst industrial disaster this state, perhaps this country has ever known, because it was instrumental in how this country and how the state then ran workers’ rights in the future « , M Meddick told reporters outside parliament

« So much progress that the trade union movement has made in the area of ​​workers’ rights, in all workplaces, has come from this moment. And it certainly changed the construction industry I worked in for twenty years « 

Construction union boss John Setka said his father was lucky to survive the crash, climbing the bridge as it collapsed

« We have come a long way in enhancing safety on construction sites, but the enormity of this tragedy will never be forgotten, » he said in a statement

A commemoration at West Gate Memorial Park in the suburb of Spotswood, near the crash site, to mark the milestone anniversary is on hold due to Melbourne coronavirus restrictions

M Setka will visit the site with her father and son to lay a wreath

The park was opened in 2004 to honor victims and raise awareness about workplace safety

West Gate Bridge, Melbourne, Victoria

World News – UA – West Gate disaster remembers, 50 years later


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