CFMEU members, survivors and their families and friends will gather today at 11.00am to remember the collapse of the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne on October 15, 1970, which killed 35 workers.
The incident is regarded as Australia’s worst ever industrial accident.
At 11.45am on October 15, 1970, many workers on the Westgate Bridge were eating their lunch in the huts below the half-built bridge.
Five minutes later, a 112-metre part of the bridge known as span 10–11 collapsed, sending 2000 tonnes of steel and concrete crashing into the muddy banks of the Yarra River 50 metres below.
“We remember those who lost their lives so that we could be safe at work,” the West Gate Bridge Memorial Committee states.The gathering takes place beneath the bridge at the Memorial Plaque in Hyde Street Spotswood, with a minute’s silence at 11.50am and wreath-laying ceremony.
View the recent ABC 80 Days that Changed our Lives report on the incident, including comments from former CFMEU Construction President Tommy Watson.
“Before the incident I was a young man, 22 years old, fit and healthy. By midnight that night, I was just washed out. I just felt like an old man. I just wanted to go home and sit in the room with the lights off,” former CFMEU Construction President Tommy Watson comments.
- View the recent ABC 80 Days that Changed our Lives report on the incident, including more comments from Tommy Watson.
- Watch the CFMEU Construction Day of Mourning April 28, 2010 You Tube video with Tommy and other workers talking about the impact of workplace deaths on their lives.
- 40th Anniversary Memorial
- More information from the West Gate Bridge Memorial Committee.