Canal span collapses after collision
Two people were slightly injured and two cargo boats sunk when a bridge over the Suzhou section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal collapsed on Wednesday.
The accident caused a traffic jam of more than 5,000 ships and boats lining up the waterway, according to local officials.
The local maritime affairs authorities were still busy cleaning up the remains of the bridge in order to restore the traffic order along the waterway, Zhou Baolin, an official with the Suzhou Maritime Safety Administration told China Daily Thursday.
The two sunken boats were still not pulled out by the press time Thursday.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation and sources with the local maritime safety administration told China Daily the accident might have happened when a boat train carrying coal bumped into the pier along the bridge to avoid a head-on collision with another boat.
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal would not be completely obstructed since the canal has some other branches.
The 1,764-kilometre-long Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, whose construction was completed in 610 DC in the Sui Dynasty (581-618 DC), is the world's oldest and longest manmade waterway.