CHINA> Regional
Govt: Overloading caused Tianjin bridge to collapse
By Cui Xiaohuo (
Updated: 2009-07-17 11:52

Overloaded vehicles probably caused the collapse of a bridge in Tianjin on July 15th that killed six people, the State Administration of Work Safety said today.

“After a preliminary investigation, overloaded vehicles that entered the ramp bridge in the wrong direction are the direct cause of the bridge collapse. The bridge lost balance and flipped over,” said Huang Yi, spokesman for the country’s top work safety watchdog.

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That conclusion is not final, however, and authorities will continue to investigate the collapse, Huang Yi said. While it is still too early to say for sure, he also speculated that possible underlying causes of the incident could include architectural flaws or poor construction quality. Further results will be released when they are available.

The bridge, which is near Tianjin port, a major commercial hub, collapsed at noon on July 15th, when five overloaded trucks fell off a ramp leading to the bridge. The accident closed down the Tianjin section of a pivotal expressway linking Tianjin to Shanxi Province and the rest of northern China, and caused traffic congestion in downtown Tianjin.

Although many witnesses at the scene have voiced doubt over whether five trucks damaged a solid bridge, architecture experts did say it is possible for overloaded vehicles to cause a bridge to collapse.