Part of Victoria Bridge washed away by flood waters, 1893

News of the day

The Argus, Thursday 9 February 1893

The fears which were entertained for the safety of the Victoria-bridge have been realised. That splendid structure has been completely wrecked. The disaster took place at 4 a.m. on Monday, at which time there was a crowd gathered on the high land at the bridge approaches. The first portion to go was the second or third span, where the flood waters were running strongest. There was one loud crash, which shook the earth and made the surrounding buildings tremble on their foundations – one great convulsive heave, and the wrecked portion went down the river. Other portions followed rapidly, and before half an hour had elapsed fully one-half of the bridge had disappeared. The waters did their work most completely, and nothing was left standing. No twisted ironwork or broken woodwork marked the spot where the structure stood.

Of the northern half of the bridge not a vestige was left. The structure had broken off almost in the centre as sharp and clean as could have been done by workmen employed for the purpose. With the destruction of the bridge the telegraph and telephone wires went down, so that all communication will have to be carried on by means of boats. Seven distinct crashes were heard as span after span collapsed. The water was thrown a great height as the bridge fell. The telegraph lines snapped with such force as to shatter the insulators. Small portions of the bank at the north end of the bridge also fell.




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