Collapse of the Duplessis Bridge

On February 1, 1951, the 600-metre bridge at Trois-Rivieres City over the St-Maurice, linking Trois-Rivieres to Cap-de-la-Madeleine, collapsed.

At least eight people died in the collapse, all of them trapped in cars as the bridge roadway gave way. Witnesses said they saw a blinding flash of light just before the bridge crumpled with a roar likened to an earthquake.

The Trois-Rivieres Bridge was opened in 1948 by Premier of Quebec Maurice Duplessis, amid charges of kickbacks and the use of shoddy materials. Maurice Duplessis declared at that time that the bridge was as solid as the Union Nationale.

The bridge was named for the premier's father, a former Trois-Rivieres mayor.

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