bridge

Memorial park

The West Gate Bridge Memorial Park Association was formed in memory of those who lost their lives during the construction of the West Gate Bridge in 1970, and as a result of the Spotswood Yarra Sewer Tunnel collapse in 1895. This Association also increases awareness in the community of workplace accidents by encouraging debate and action with government, industry, and the trade union movement to promote safe work environments.
The West Gate Bridge Memorial Park

The park, opened on 15 October 2004, the 34th anniversary of the disaster, embraces the existing West Gate Bridge Memorial and Sculpture, the Spotswood Sewer Tunnel Memorial, and complements Industrial Deaths Support and Advocacy (IDSA) Workers’ Memorial erected at Victorian Trades Hall Council.

Located on the actual site of the Bridge’s collapse, the Memorial Park is evocative of the tragedy of workplace accidents while honouring the notion of work.

Survivors

‘He toppled forward into the bowels of the hollow span and went down inside, bouncing around like a rubber ball. Not even a bone was broken.’
Some managed to ride the bridge down

There were some miraculous tales of survival which came out in the days and weeks that followed the disaster.

In those interminable seconds before the huge span plummeted 45 metres (150 feet) into the mud and waters of Melbourne’s River Yarra, a young migrant, boilermaker’s assistant, Charlie Sant, had the presence of mind to sit down on a box and await the worst. It was too late to run.

Some others alongside him rode the bridge down and, while they didn’t walk away, managed to smile through their pain as rescue workers reached them.

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