China bridge collapse: Vehicles, pedestrians fall into river
Beijing: Three people were rescued after several vehicles and pedestrians fell into a raging river in mountainous western China after a bridge collapsed on Tuesday, local authorities said.
The bridge over the Panjiang River in Jiangyou City in Sichuan Province collapsed around 11:30 am (local time), sources with the city`s publicity department said.
The exact number of people who fell into the river and the number of casualties was not known.
Witnesses said a few sedans, a truck and several pedestrians had fallen into the river after the collapse.
Three people had been rescued and sent to a local hospital, as rescue work continued.
Those sent to the hospital were in a non-life-threatening condition, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted officials as saying.
Local fire authorities dispatched 55 rescuers with six steamboats to search a 10-kilometre stretch of the river downstream.
The water level in the river had risen significantly over the past two days amid continuous rainfall in the region.
An initial investigation indicated that flooding at a rate of 7,000 cubic meters per second may be to blame for the collapse.
The bridge, built in 1967, is about 200 metres long and 6 metres wide.
It was repaired and fortified after the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 in the same province.
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