On 15 October 1970, while it was under construction, the West Gate Bridge collapsed. In a few horrifying seconds thirty-five workers lost their lives in Victoria's worst-ever workplace accident. The day before the collapse, Bob West and co-workers had laughed when they felt the bridge move 'she must be having growing pains', one of them said. Bob was dead less than twenty-four hours later.
The human cost of the tragedy extends far beyond the lives of those lost that October morning. Visitors can listen to survivors tell amazing escape stories and hear interviews from those involved. One such escape was that of Charlie Sant who as the bridge fell away beneath him, sat on a box girder and rode it to the ground below and escaped unscathed.
Thirty-five men died in the collapse of the West Gate Bridge. Another eighteen were injured, with many crippled for life.
The exhibition is a moving insight into the bridge's collapse and its effect on those involved.
The temporary exhibition draws from testimonials, and never before seen documents from the Inquest Deposition Files as well as the Royal Commission, into the West Gate Bridge Collapse from Public Record Office Victoria.
You may also like to visit the Public Record Office Victoria site 'Disaster at West Gate Bridge' and examine official documents and images from the incident online.
This exhibition is available to view online through the Google Cultural Institute Australia.
Open: 14 October 2010
Closed: 27 March 2011