At least four people were killed and four others injured when a truck hit a pedestrian bridge Tuesday on a major highway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the fire department said.

The accident occurred around 9:15 a.m. on the Linea Amarilla, a highway that links the northern and western sections of Rio de Janeiro.

Two pedestrians were killed when they were thrown from the bridge into a canal that runs along the side of the highway.

A vehicle traveling on the road also ended up in the canal, the fire department said.

Three automobiles and a motorcycle were crushed by the collapsing bridge, with chunks of concrete and pieces of steel scattered across eight lanes of traffic, Linea Amarilla operator Lamsa said.

The other victims died in two of the vehicles crushed by the collapsing structure.

The pedestrian bridge collapsed when a dump truck traveling with its bed up hit the structure after entering a lane on which vehicles taller than 4.5 meters (about 15 feet) are not allowed.

The impact from the truck hitting the structure caused the bridge to collapse immediately.

Residents of the Rato Molhado favela, or "shantytown," and people headed to Norte Shopping, the largest shopping center in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro, used the pedestrian bridge to cross the busy highway.

Fire department helicopters airlifted some of the injured to hospitals.

Officials were forced to shut down the Linea Amarilla in both directions, causing massive traffic jams across Rio de Janeiro. EFE