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Driver in lucky escape after 15-metre bridge fall

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The crash on Sweden's E22 road. Photo: Ilka Ranta/Västerviks tidning/TT
11:00 CET+01:00
A driver was taken to hospital after his truck went off a bridge in southern Sweden on Tuesday morning – just days after a British indie pop band died in a separate crash.

The 34-year-old driver fell 15 metres from the E22 road bridge near Gamleby when his truck crashed through the railings at around 7.30am on Tuesday.

The rest of the articulated vehicle was left hanging across the bridge, which was closed for traffic in both directions following the crash while salvage teams worked to clear the road.

"There was one person in the truck and he followed [the driver's cabin] down those 15 metres. We had to cut him free because he had been trapped inside the cab," Jonas Helge, head of the emergency services called to the scene, told the TT newswire.

The man was taken to Västervik hospital, which reported his injuries were believed to be minor. It was understood the accident was caused by icy conditions on the road.

Sweden has one of the best road safety records in the world, but Tuesday's crash comes days after British pop band Viola Beach tragically died in a crash in Södertälje. 

They had been on their way to Stockholm's Arlanda airport having played their first gig outside the UK in Norrköping on Friday, at the small city's Where's the Music festival.

"We booked Viola Beach to our festival because of their amazing music and could see a massive potential in them, just like we do with the rest of the bands and artists at our festival. (…) We were happy to have them play at our showcase festival and they were a perfect fit for the festival's concept," organizers told The Local.

"Viola Beach was a brilliant band, and we truly are heartbroken."

An investigation is ongoing into the accident, south of Stockholm, which left all four musicians in the indie group dead, as well as their manager Craig Tarry.

Police told The Local on Monday that their immediate focus was speaking to witnesses and examining the car and the barrier on the bridge to try to work out the cause of the crash.

A press spokesperson for the Stockholm region, Carina Skagerlind, said that officers would also consider a range of possible offences including suspected manslaughter and reckless driving as part of their investigation.

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She said that drunk driving could also feature in their inquiry but explained that autopsies on the band and their manager needed to be carried out first.

"Right now we are looking at the car and the conditions on the road and we are talking to witnesses."

"We have to look if everything is alright with the brakes and so on, why didn't they stop and what kind of wheels it had."

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