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Moscow Park Bridge Collapse Prompts Inspection, Dismissal

Mikhail Tereshenko / TASS

The head of Moscow’s popular Gorky Park has been dismissed and an inspection was announced following the collapse of a footbridge minutes after the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Thirteen revelers greeting the arrival of 2019 were injured early Tuesday when a section of the wooden bridge fell onto an ice rink below as the Russian national anthem played in the background.

“We’re conducting an in-depth investigation,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin tweeted on Tuesday. “Those guilty will be punished.”

The park’s press service said a part of the bridge that reportedly runs for 350 meters along the park’s outdoor ice rink “broke for technical reasons.” An unnamed source told Interfax preliminary findings indicate the bridge was overcrowded.

In the aftermath, Sobyanin fired the head of Gorky Park, Marina Lyulchuk, and replaced her with the current head of Mosgorpark, the city park administration, Vyacheslav Dunayev. The mayor pledged compensation to those injured with up to 500,000 rubles ($7,400).

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