OSLO – A massive, 40-ton whale roared toward the freedom of the open sea, and destroyed a half-mile bridge that stood in its way.
“It rammed one of the concrete pillars supporting the bridge with all the force of a speeding torpedo,” said Rolf Pedersen, a shocked eyewitness. “The span literally crumbled and toppled into the water.”
Miraculously, no cars or other vehicles were traveling on the 30-year-old bridge which connects the islands of Svolvaer and Hinnoya on the north coast of Norway.
Pedersen and his son, Bjorn, were fishing shortly before dawn in an inlet that opens into the Norwegian Sea when they saw the whale swimming toward them. “It looked like a sperm whale, had to be at least 80 feet long,” Bjorn said. “That gigantic thing was swimming down the channel when it seemed to veer sharply to the right and deliberately plow into the concrete bridge support.”
“A 30-foot section of the bridge just shattered and fell into the channel like it was made of matchsticks. It was an extraordinary sight. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Marine biologist Olav Karlsen told reporters he believes the sperm whale was the same one that nearly beached itself a day earlier near Svolvaer. “It is only conjecture, but perhaps the whale thought it was trapped in the channel and it made him frantic and furious as it headed toward the sea. It’s amazing that the creature could destroy a bridge and keep on going!”