An excavator machine with its operator fell into the riverbed when a portion of a bridge on the Banas river gave in during demolition in Gujarat's Banaskantha district on Friday, an official said.
Luckily, the man did not suffer any injuries as the excavator stayed upright after falling 30 feet.
The bridge near Umbri village in Kankrej taluka is nearly 70 years old and it was not in use for the last four years, said executive engineer of the state Roads and Buildings Department Kalpesh Patel.
The government had approved the construction of a new bridge at the same location and a major portion of the old bridge had been taken down, said Patel.
A hydraulic hammer-mounted excavator was placed on top of the bridge on Friday to demolish the remaining portion connecting two pillars.
A video of the incident which went viral showed the machine falling into the dry riverbed with debris of the bridge when the demolition was underway.
But the excavator did not topple and remained upright despite crashing nearly 30 feet down.
"The bridge span developed cracks when the excavator was on top of it. It was a close call and the operator may not have judged that the structure may fall in such a manner. Luckily, he was not injured in the incident," said Patel.
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