Chinese bridge collapse kills nine

By Richard High19 May 2009

At least nine people have died and 16 been injured following the collapse of a bridge in Zhuzhou city, Hunan Province, China, according to state news agency Xinhau.

The collapse of a 200 m-long section of a 2.75 km-long, 8 m-high flyover on Hongqi road in downtown Zhuzhou on Sunday 17 May, buried the road below trapping as many as 27 vehicles, many with their passengers inside, said the report.

Over 550 rescuers, using over 30 pieces of construction equipment to move the rubble, have been working since the collapse, which is thought to have occurred at about 4 pm, to free any survivors.

An un-named local authority spokesman was quoted as saying police had detained a number of people in connection with the accident and a provincial government investigation is underway.

The bridge, which has been in use since 1995, had been closed for demolition since 5 May this year.

According to local reports a test blast had been conducted last week close to the site of the collapse ahead of full demolition work on Wednesday.

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