LOCAL residents from two small communities on Spain’s Costa del Sol are demanding answers after a fifth suicide in 18 years from a nearby overpass.
The villages of Las Tres Marias and Cacho Pan sit under the Totalan viaduct, a 120 metre high bypass that forms part of the A-7 motorway as it crosses the Chillar river.
It forms the link between Malaga and la Cala de Moral and was constructed in 2003 as part of a mass renovation of the Autovia del Mediterraneo.
However since its construction, the viaduct has provided a platform for people to make the leap to their death, causing great distress for the communities that live below.
Since 2003, five people have died after jumping from the bridge, with numerous others being talked down from the ledge.
In 2017, a gambling addict had to be convinced by police to step away from taking his own life.
The last death caused by jumping was in 2018, when a woman threw herself from the westbound carriageway towards Malaga and landed on the access lane to Cacho Pan, the main access road to the small settlement.
That was until the early hours March 19, when a man took his life jumping from the other side of the road.
Residents from the two communities have called for greater measures to stop these suicides for years, as the aftermath of the falls have been causing great distress for unsuspecting passers by.
Answering the calls for answers, a 2.5 metre high clear Perspex fence was erected on the bridge in 2017 in an effort to deter potential incidents.
However residents are calling for more, as the fence does not span the full length of the bridge, and according to neighbours unions, the threat is still very much present.
“We are very grateful for the work done so far to stop these incidents, but it has not stopped the problem.” said a spokesman for the residents.
“The latest suicide landed on an area that is popular for people to walk their dogs and for horse owners to take their horses to drink, it could have easily been a child that found him.”
Residents have also denounced the fact that debris from the motorway also finds a way down into their community, car parts, food scraps, drinks bottles and in some cases, boxes of fruits.
“Something needs to be done, the highways agency have worked hard so far to protect us, but something more needs to be done.”
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