Bridges over bodies of water usually fascinate me with their variety of shapes, and of materials of which they are made. Yesterday, I was reminded of one bridge, a pedestrian temporary bridge that could certainly not be categorized as 'fascinating'. That bridge had collapsed on July 14, 1997 (yesterday was the 13th anniversary) causing the death of four people and serious injuries to sixty more. It happened at the 15th Maccabiah Games (a sort of Jewish Olympics held every four year in Israel) in the area of the sports stadium of the city of Ramat-Gan.
The temporary bridge placed over the nearby Yarkon river to allow athlethes and officials to enter the Ramat-Gan stadium for the opening ceremony march, collapsed as the second team of athletes, the australian team , was crossing it ( the first team was that of the austrians). The australians fell into the polluted water; other athletes and by standers jumped into the water to rescue the fallen. What was expected to be a big, exciting event was being spoiled by unneccessary deaths and injuries. The first day of the Maccabiah was one of deep mourning.
Sacha Elterman, 15 year old, was the most critical of the injured australians; during the years to follow, she underwent more than 30 brain and lung operations - and survived. Only one of the four dead athletes died as a result of the fall, the other three died as a result of the toxicity of the water (it was found upon investigation that the water contained a fatal fungus).
It appeared that the temporary bridge was constructed out of rusty metal pieces bound together with wire. Criminal charges were brought against the people involved in the design and building of this bridge . In 2005, eight years after the disaster, a permanent structure over the Yarkon river was built, and it was called 'The Bridge of Remembrance".
(The above picture from Wikipedia shows the athletes in the water under the collapsed bridge).