Melbourne, Victoria, October 1970

Industrial - Westgate bridge collapse

Quick Statistics

35 Fatalities

On 15 October 1970 at 11.50 am, a section of the Westgate Bridge known as span 10-11 suddenly collapsed and fell 50 m. The bridge had been under construction for two - three years. In total 35 workers died as a result of the collapse.

A Royal Commission into the incident was set up to examine and report on the faults with the bridge. These were identified in design, construction, supervision, labour management and communication.

Information Sources

ABC News, Westgate Bridge collapse remembered, 15 October 2006, website viewed 17 August 2011

Charrett D E, Barrister, Victorian Bar, Lessons from failures – West Gate Bridge, website viewed 17 August 2011

Only Melbourne, West Gate Bridge exhibit, website viewed 17 August 2011

Worksafe Australia, Occupational Health and Safety for engineers, Collapse of the West Gate Bridge, website viewed 17 August 2011

Report of the Royal Commission into the Failure of West Gate Bridge, Victoria, 1971, website viewed 11 November 2014

Alia Christine Burton, ‘Lessons learned in the design and erection of box girder bridges from the West Gate collapse,’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology Thesis (M.Eng), 2007 website viewed 11 November 2014