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China Bridge
June 10, 2004

Vehicles Plunge in Bridge Collapse
A highway bridge in northeastern China has collapsed, sending at least three vehicles plummeting into a river, witnesses and the official Xinhua news agency reported. The Tianzhuangtai Bridge in Liaoning province broke apart at 7:02 AM Thursday (2302 GMT Wednesday) as traffic was passing over it, Xinhua said quoting, local sources. Vehicles were seen falling from the bridge, but there was no immediate word on casualties, the report said. The bridge crosses the Liao River between the cities of Panjin and Yingkou in an industrial region about 300 miles northeast of the capital, Beijing. A man contacted by phone at the Tianzhuangtai Paper Mill located at the bridge's southern foot said three trucks had fallen into the river following the collapse of a 30-foot section. A woman at a highway toll station near the bridge said only its center section appeared to have collapsed. Officials at the local Tianzhuangtai township government refused to give out any information about the collapse.However, an official with the Transportation Department in the surrounding county of Dawa said the bridge likely crumbled due to structural problems related to age.
Road Bridge Collapses in China
A bridge has collapsed in north-eastern China sending at least three vehicles plummeting into the river beneath. There is no information on the number of casualties, but two people have swum ashore after surviving the fall, according to the Xinhua news agency. The two-lane bridge connected the cities of Panjin and Yingkou, in China's north-eastern province of Liaoning. It is not yet known what caused the accident. A witness told the Associated Press news agency that only the centre section of the bridge appeared to have collapsed. The director of public security at Tianzhuangtai suggested heavy truck traffic may have led to the collapse. But our correspondent in Beijing, Louisa Lim, says corruption in the building sector and poor quality control have in the past been blamed for such disasters.