On Thursday morning, a group of school children were crossing a temporary construction bridge near a shopping centre in the southern town of Tapiola when the incident occurred. A bridge collapsed resulted in over 25 people being injured, with the majority being eighth-grade school pupils.
The incident took place at 09:30 local time in Espoo's Tapiola neighborhood, a few kilometers west of the Finnish capital Helsinki. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported. However, 10 people were seriously injured. The police reported that several individuals fell from the collapsing bridge, which was made of plywood.
The students were on their way to visit a nearby modern art museum. Police arrived at the scene within 10 minutes, and injured students were evaluated and treated on-site for approximately 90 minutes before being transported to local hospitals. Most of the injured individuals, primarily born in 2008, were taken to Helsinki University Hospital, where surgical operations were promptly performed on those requiring surgery within three hours. One school staff member also received treatment at the hospital. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö expressed shock at the news and emphasized the importance of providing support and assistance in the aftermath of the incident.
The rescue services are currently conducting a technical investigation, as temporary bridges with plywood sidings and metal-covered walkways have been utilized in the area for the past decade during extensive construction work even if some local residents have expressed concerns about the safety of these temporary bridges. Authorities stated that the bridges underwent regular inspections and had recently passed the most recent one.