Hidrovias do Brasil SA, a Brazilian logistics company, said the collapse of a bridge on the Moju River in Pará state on Saturday will not have any impact on its operations in the region, according to a statement on Sunday.
Hidrovias said it does not move cargo on the Moju River, adding the road where the bridge collapsed is not the usual route of the grain trucks.
The bridge was located close to Belém, capital of Pará, where three major grain loaders operate, including Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd and Hidrovias.
According to information on Hidrovias' website, the company has the highest grain loading and transportation capacity in Northern Brazil where river ports such as Vila do Conde and Barcarena are located.
Authorities are still investigating the incident, which was caused by a boat that collided against the structure of the bridge, causing a large section of it to fall in the water.
Barge traffic on the Tocantins and Amazon rivers, which use Northern river ports including Vila do Conde and Barcarena to move cargo, will not be affected by the incident.
Para state Gov. Helder Barbalho told reporters that witnesses reported seeing the two small cars fall into the water during the accident on a highway leading to the port city of Belem. It was unknown how many people were in the cars, and fire department scuba divers were searching the river.
The state government said the five crew members on the ferry survived, but it had no information about any victims as about 200 meters of the 860-metre bridge collapsed.
”This is a sad day with this regrettable episode,” Barbalho said in an initial statement. “Right now our priority is to speed up the search for the victims and give total support to their families.”
Local media reported that a January inspection of the bridge found corrosion problems on the pillars. At the time, the government didn’t think the problem was serious enough to close the span, but did request funds for emergency measures, the reports said.
The structure is part of a complex of bridges that span a labyrinth of rivers at the mouth of the Amazon river basin to provide a road connection between many rural cities and the state capital.
The state government said it would install ramps and have barges ferry cars from one end of the broken bridge to the other while the span is rebuilt. The governor estimated repairs and new safety measures would cost US$ 25 million and take about year.