Cargo Ship Collision Causes Bridge Collapse in Southern China

Tragic Incident Results in Multiple Fatalities and Isolation of Thousands on Rural Island

Chinese-bridge-collapse-Peoples-Daily

Chinese authorities have disclosed a maritime incident involving a small cargo vessel traversing the Hingqili waterway in proximity to the industrial hub of Guangzhou in southern China. Reports indicate that the vessel collided with a bridge spanning the watercourse, resulting in the collapse of a section of the roadway. Consequently, a tragic outcome ensued as at least five vehicles plummeted from the compromised structure, leading to five fatalities, while two individuals are presently receiving medical treatment. Search and rescue operations within the river are ongoing in an effort to locate any potential additional victims.

The vessel involved remains unidentified but was reportedly navigating within the Pearl River delta, specifically between Foshan and Guangzhou, when its side made contact with a support pillar of the bridge. Subsequently, the vessel underwent a rotational motion, causing its bow to collide with a second support pillar, ultimately resulting in the structural failure of the roadway between the two points of impact.

Authorities have indicated that the vehicles involved in the incident comprised three small trucks, a minibus, and a motorcycle, with the minibus and motorcycle plunging into an open hopper barge, while the remaining two vehicles submerged into the river. The timing of the accident, occurring at 5:30 a.m. local time, potentially mitigated further casualties, as the small bus reportedly only had a single occupant, the driver, whose fate tragically met with the vehicular descent.

Following the occurrence, authorities conducted a press briefing attributing the accident to purported “improper operation” of the cargo vessel, leading to the detention of the vessel’s owner. Additionally, one crew member aboard the vessel sustained minor injuries. Chinese television coverage documented the deployment of six scuba divers scouring the river, alongside multiple salvage vessels mobilized to the vicinity.

The Lixinsha Bridge, a two-lane thoroughfare, served as a vital link connecting a rural island locale to the bustling industrial precinct. With the bridge now compromised, officials anticipate approximately 8,000 individuals, primarily farmers, facing isolation on the island without vehicular access. Contingency measures are underway, including the establishment of a temporary ferry service to address the transportation needs of the affected populace. Simultaneously, an investigative inquiry is underway to ascertain the root cause of the incident, ensuring comprehensive measures are implemented to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

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