Police launched preliminary investigation into incident in which a footbridge collapsed in Tapiola, Espoo
A footbridge structure crossing Itätuulenkuja in Tapiola, Espoo collapsed in the morning of 11 May. The police are investigating the incident under the offence types of endangering and injury caused through negligence. The offence types may become more specific as the investigation progresses.
Western Uusimaa Police Department was alerted to Tapiola, Espoo at 9.28am on 11 May. According to preliminary information conveyed by the Emergency Response Centre, there had been some kind of cave in. Three patrols from Western Uusimaa Police Department joined the mission immediately. More patrols and police technical and tactical investigators were also immediately called to the scene. During the course of the day, Helsinki and Eastern Uusimaa Police Departments have also supported their colleagues in various ways.
The initial duty of the police in the early stages was to prevent further damage, cordon off the scene of the incident and enable rescue action at the scene of the incident.
According to the current information available to the police, the collapsed bridge was a metal-structured footbridge intended for temporary use.
Around 45 people were on crossing the bridge when it gave way and 24 of these fell from the bridge when it collapsed. The fall from the bridge to the ground was about 4.5 metres. Most of the people falling were members of a group of underage schoolchildren from Kalasatama comprehensive school. In addition, one teacher was also among those falling from the bridge. They have various degrees of injury but as far as is currently known, none sustained life-threatening injuries.
There is no longer any risk in the area and access to the scene of the accident has been prevented.
How the police investigation will proceed
The police have carried out a technical investigation of the scene of the incident. A technical investigation includes inspecting the bridge structures and where and the cause of the bridge failure. The technical investigation is still ongoing and the Safety Investigation Authority Finland will also carry out its own investigation.
The police are investigating the incident as a crime because it resulted in serious physical injuries and to establish liability issues relating to the incident. At this stage, however, it is too early to form a view of who is possibly suspected of the offence.
The police have filed a report of the offence. At this stage, we are investigating the incident as endangering and injury caused through negligence. The types of offence may become more specific as the investigation progresses.
A start will be made on hearings and interrogations related to the preliminary investigation today, 12 May. There a many parties and adequate resources will be allocated for the hearings.
Relatives can ask for more information about the injured at HUS Patient Information Centre
HUS has opened a patient information centre. Relatives of those injured in the incident can ask for more information using the numbers below:
09 471 87521
09 471 87522
09 471 87524
Edited May 12th, 2023 at 9.28: date of the beginning of hearings specified.