China Fireworks Truck Blast Causes Highway Collapse

by
staff
A truck carrying fireworks has exploded on an elevated highway in central China, killing at least five people and causing part of the road to collapse, state media report.

China truck

A truck carrying fireworks has exploded on an elevated highway in central China, killing at least five people and causing part of the road to collapse, state media report.

The blast, which destroyed an 80m (262ft) section of road, took place on the G30 expressway in Henan province.

China National Radio had put the number of dead at 26 but the report appeared to have been removed from websites.

Several vehicles were reported to have tumbled off the road.

Witnesses said some cars were thrown off by the force of the blast.

Six vehicles were retrieved from the wreckage, Xinhua said, while search and rescue efforts were continuing at the site. Eight people had been injured, the agency said.

Footage broadcast by state broadcaster CCTV showed rescuers digging through rubble. The channel said 10 trucks had been found under the bridge.

Images posted on microblogging sites showed wrecked trucks and debris, as well as a collapsed section of highway.

One photo showed a truck perched precariously at the broken edge of the carriageway.

Fireworks are traditionally set off in China to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which is just over a week away. There are frequently reports of accidents as they are being made, stored or transported.

Official statistics show that in 2011, more than 60,000 people were killed on roads in China. The deaths are often blamed on inadequate training, poor quality vehicles or on drivers ignoring safety instructions.