The Western Uusimaa police department said that about 45 people were using the bridge when it failed at about 9.30am. The fall from the bridge to the road below was about 4m to 5m. Most of those who fell are children, who were in a group of elementary school pupils. A teacher who was with them also fell when the bridge collapsed.

The police department said that those who fell were injured to varying degrees but that, according to current information, no one received life-threatening injuries.

It has begun an investigation under the criminal headings of causing danger and causing injury. Onnettomuustutkintakeskus – the accident investigation authority - is also investigating the cause of the failure.

The police said that, according to current information, the collapsed structure was a metal footbridge intended for temporary use.

A statement from Espoo City Council said: “We are shocked by the bridge accident in Tapiola. The city is responsible for the collapsed bridge. The Safety Investigation Authority is investigating the cause of the collapse. All bridges in the area will be inspected without delay."