London’s Tower Bridge gets stuck open, causing traffic chaos

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London (CNN) – Tower Bridge, one of London’s most famous landmarks, was stranded on Saturday afternoon due to a “mechanical failure”, causing traffic chaos in the city.

The 240-meter-long bridge, a staple of the London skyline and a popular tourist attraction, features a movable drawbridge-type bridge, which lifts approximately 800 times a year to allow ships to pass through the river below.

Pedestrians, cyclists and traffic were stranded on Tower Bridge.

Pedestrians, cyclists and traffic were stranded on Tower Bridge.

Hollie Adams / Getty Images

But the monument, which is near the Tower of London and spans the Thames, remained “locked in an elevated position for a time” on Saturday before reopening to pedestrians later, the bridge said in a statement.

Traffic in the capital was “blocked” after the bridge did not close after letting a ship pass along the River Thames, the PA Media news agency reported. Queues of motorists and pedestrians waited at least an hour, while police asked motorists to find alternative routes in the city.

Police said that the accident was the result of a “mechanical failure”.

Overlooking the Thames, the monument, known as the “bascule bridge” (French for “swing”), was completed in 1894. Formerly powered by steam, hydraulic scales have been driven by oil and electricity since 1976.

“The bridge experienced technical issues this afternoon and has been locked in the elevated position for a while. It has now reopened. Thank you to everyone who fixed it,” the bridge’s Twitter account. said.

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