ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Here's a confession that will shock nobody: I utterly adore the Final Destination movies. Out of all of the dramatic mass death set pieces across the franchise, there is none quite so breathtakingly destructive as this one...

Surprisingly enough for a horror franchise that made a name for itself maiming and impaling hot young things with everything from barbeques to sunbeds, structural engineer Alex Weinberg says that Final Destination 5's bridge collapse is the most realistic he's seen on film:

The most realistic bridge collapse sequence somehow comes from a film franchise in which people regularly get cut in half by errant kites...

The origin of the structural failure in this situation is pretty absurd because the asphalt driving surface on a traffic bridge is non-structural. The road itself rests on a steel structure, which would probably not be seriously compromised by some sawing and jackhammering on the asphalt.

Further, it’s hard to invent a scenario in which any of this could cause a failure at the top of a vertical suspender. But who knows, maybe there had been some plot-friendly corrosion in the steel. Regardless of the initial cause of failure, the collapse progresses in a halfway believable manner: The road deck falls, but the main catenary cables and the bridge towers remain. With no road to support, the vertical cables swing dumbly over the void.

On a pedantic note (as all best notes are), the collapse shown in the film does not accurately reflect the change in shape that the real parabolic cables would take. Without the dead weight of the main span, the main cables would sag noticeably less between the towers because they would only be carrying their own weight.
Since the cables themselves cannot appreciably change in length, they would droop much more at the outer spans where the load is still applied. In the movie, the intact portions of the road deck should be sagging much lower. This is a rare fictional collapse scenario for which we have a real world comparison, the 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse.

In summary, Final Destination is awesome! Well, take from this whatever you will, but that's what I choose to believe...

Source: Hack A Day, Youtube, Bloody Disgusting


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