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13 arrested for fatal bridge collapse

Updated: 2013-11-03 21:26
( Xinhua)

CHENGDU - Prosecutors in Southwest China's Sichuan province have approved the arrest of 13 people who were accused of being responsible for a deadly bridge collapse, local authorities said Sunday.

The 13 people include seven officials from traffic management, urban construction as well as taxation authorities in Mianyang and Jiangyou cities. They were accused of power abuse, dereliction of duty and bribery linked to the collapse of Panjiang Bridge in Jiangyou on July 9.

The bridge collapse sent six vehicles plunging into the river below, leading to five deaths and seven people missing.

The city's government invested more than five million yuan ($821,000) in repairing the bridge, but the structure collapsed during a flood only five days after the project was finished.

An ensuing investigation has indicated that multiple irregularities in the bridge repair project, such as illegal subcontracting, unlicensed operations, slack supervision and improper inspection, had led to shoddy construction that did not strictly follow the initial design.

Those who had been arrested include Zhou Xing, head of the road management section under the traffic bureau of Mianyang, the city overseeing Jiangyou.

Among the 13 people, six are project contractors, a construction director as well as technical supervisors who were considered directly responsible for the collapse.

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