A bridge over the River Magra that links the regions of Liguria and Tuscany in northern Italy has collapsed.

The bridge on the provincial road is usually busy, but due to the lockdown measures put in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, there was little traffic when it collapsed.

Two drivers at the time of the collapse managed to escape serious injuries.

A driver of a courier vehicle was hit by fallen masonry, suffered minor injuries and was later airlifted to a hospital. The driver of a second van escaped from the vehicle unharmed, but suffered from shock.

Firefighters checked underneath the bridge for any additional casualties.

The bridge measures 400m in length and around 7m-8m in height.

Last November, motorists reported a crack in the bridge after a period of bad weather, following which it was repaired, inspected by technicians and given an all-clear permit.

Previously operated by the local authority in Massa Carrara, the bridge was recently put under the control of Anas, an entity run by state-owned railway group Ferrovie dello Stato.

Italian provinces union UPI head Michele de Pascale was quoted by BBC as saying: “It’s a sheer stroke of luck that a collapse hasn’t turned into a tragedy because of a lack of traffic caused by the coronavirus emergency.”

In August 2018, Morandi Bridge in Genoa collapsed, leading to 43 deaths. The bridge, serving the busy A10 motorway, collapsed because of decayed steel rods.

The road and bridge infrastructure of Italy has come under close scrutiny ever since the collapse of the Morandi Bridge.