9 Oct 2015

Terrifying plunge captured on video

12:52 pm on 9 October 2015

A video has emerged that appears to show the moment when four French tourists plunged 8m into a river on one of the country's Great Walks.

A cable on the Hopu Ruahine Bridge on the Lake Waikaremoana track in northern Hawke's Bay, snapped early last month.

The tourists - three women and one man - escaped without serious injury.

A manufacturing fault was blamed for causing the suspension bridge to break.

At the time DoC said the bridge did not collapse but there was a cable "release" which destabilised the bridge.

An engineering report revealed there was a defect in a section of the high-tensile steel chain used in the construction of the 65m long bridge in 1996.

The incident prompted DoC to check all of its 111 bridges which also used high-tensile chain.

The engineering report said the ultimate design load for the chain on the bridge's 10-person load restriction was about 8 tonnes.

DoC said the chain was sourced locally, and it had confidence that a particular batch of chain was not used anywhere else in the network.

DoC is responsible for about 1300 structures.

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