A bridge in Neamț collapsed, just a few months after it was rehabilitated. DNA opens criminal file

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The Luțca bridge in Neamț county collapsed on Thursday, only half a year after it was reopened in November 2021. At the time of the collapse, there was a van and a truck on the bridge, and one person was injured. The bridge is subordinated to the Neamț County Council, an institution led by the PSD baron Ionel Arsene, who took care of the rehabilitation works.

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca demanded that all those responsible for the collapse of the bridge over the Siret River be held accountable and ordered the Ministry of National Defense to act as a matter of urgency to restore transport in the affected area.

At the same time, the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) announced on Friday that it has opened a criminal case regarding the way in which the rehabilitation works of the bridge over Siret in Neamț County were carried out.

The prosecutors said that at this moment only the criminal investigation has been started in rem (against the deed), regarding the suspicion of committing some crimes assimilated to those of corruption.

The spokesperson of the Neamț Police, Mariana Pușcașu, said that at the time of the incident on the bridge there was a truck and a van. The driver of the van was injured – a 56-year-old man.

The mayor of the commune, Gheorghe Iacob told Digi 24 that the bridge, 216 meters long, had been reopened in autumn, after rehabilitation. The mayor also said that that before the bridge was reopened “countless measurements were made.” “Road filters have been set up to inform drivers and divert traffic on the National Road 15 D, Roman – Gâdinți”, the representatives of IPJ Neamț told Știri Neamț.

In August 2020, the Luțca bridge over Siret river underwent major repairs after 30 years of operation. The value of the investment was 8.3 million lei, works executed by Darcons SRL, according to Roman TV.

The president of the County Council, Ionel Arsene, said in a message posted on Facebook on November 13, at the reopening of the bridge, that resistance tests were performed and that the bridge is safe.

The president of the County Council, Ionel Arsene, said in a message posted on Facebook on November 13, at the reopening of the bridge, that resistance tests were performed and that the bridge is safe.

The president of the Neamț County Council, Ionel Arsene (PSD), was sentenced in April 2022 to 8 years and 4 months in prison in a corruption case. The decision of the Neamț Court – pronounced after four years of trials – is not final. He was convicted for influence peddling and therefor he was banned certain rights, including the occupation, exercise and the right to be elected to public office.

Ionel Arsene was accused of receiving a bribe of 100,000 euros to intervene with the National Integrity Agency. Ionel Arsene is also president of PSD Neamț, since 2013. He is one of the local barons of PSD and was considered the right hand of the former leader of PSD Liviu Dragnea.

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