A 15-year-old girl was killed after a suspension bridge over a river in South West France collapsed on Monday, causing a car, a truck and possibly a third vehicle to plunge into the water, local authorities said.
Fire service and local security chief, Etienne Guyot, said four people were rescued but several others were feared dead after the collapse of the bridge linking the towns of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn and Bessieres, 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of the city of Toulouse.
Television images showed a car bonnet sticking out of the fast-flowing waters of the Tarn river and emergency service helicopters circling overhead.
The body of the dead girl was pulled from the water, Toulouse prosecutor, Dominique Alzeari said at the scene, adding that her mother was rescued by onlookers.
Guyot told reporters that over 60 rescue workers, including divers, and 40 police were taking part in the search for survivors, saying there were “probably several missing.”
He disclosed that those feared missing was the truck driver and the driver of a potential third vehicle, adding that witnesses had reported seeing a van on the bridge.
“The bridge had a load limit of 19 tonnes, dating back to the 1930s and was regularly checked,” he added.
The mayor of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, Eric Oget, described it as a “very important crossing point” for people going to work in Toulouse on the other side of the river.
Many pedestrians, including schoolgoers, also used the bridge, he said, describing the accident as a “real trauma.”