Canadian police have opened an investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed a railway bridge near the Alberta town of Mayerthorpe on 26 April. CBC reported that the fire caused the Canadian National Railway wooden trestle bridge to collapse. Pipistrel Canada captured dramatic aerial footage showing the burning bridge, with billowing smoke that could be seen from miles around.
"It is suspicious in nature," said Mayerthorpe fire chief Randy Schroeder. "There were some witnesses that indicated people were in the area at the time of the fire."
Schroeder said there have been as many as 17 fires in the area over the last six days and all are under investigation, he said. Officials evacuated nearby schools and trailer park over fears the wind direction could change and blow the fire towards the town, which is located around 80 miles from Edmonton.
Mayerthorpe resident Quinn White said the fire incinerated the bridge in just a couple of hours. "When we got here, it was a relatively small fire," he said. "We could still feel it from across the tracks. Within an hour it was just engulfed in flames. "Now the whole thing has just fell down and they're bombing it with water. There's some pillars from the truss still standing up, but for the rest of it, it's just all fallen down," he added.