Saturday, July 16, 2011

Truck driver injured in east China bridge cave-in

The collapse happened at around 2 a.m., leaving a 20-meter long, 1-meter wide pit on the right lane of the No. 3 Qiantang River Bridge, said a traffic police officer at the scene. A passing heavy truck loaded with steel plates toppled off the bridge but its driver managed to jump from the vehicle before it plunged to the ground.
The injured driver was sent to a nearby hospital. Police said his condition was not critical.
Investigators said the truck was overloaded, as more than 100 tonnes of steel plates were collected from the scene.
A resident who lives near the bridge said he heard two bangs and felt his home was shaking. "I thought it was an earthquake."
A surveillance camera shows that minutes before the cave-in, two trucks each loaded with over 100 tonnes of cargo crossed the bridge, said a spokesman of Hangzhou municipal government at a press conference.
The bridge and several other roads leading to the bridge were closed after the accident. At 9:45 a.m., two-way traffic resumed on the left lane of the bridge, the spokesman said.
The No. 3 Qiantang River Bridge opened in 1997 and links Hangzhou's city center with the Xiaoshan International Airport. Trucks are forbidden from crossing the bridge, according to local authorities.

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