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Three bridges collapse in Sichuan

China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-10 08:06

Three bridges collapsed in Sichuan province on Tuesday as rainstorm-triggered floods washed through rivers.

At 11:50 am, the Qinglian Bridge on the Fujiang River in Jiangyou collapsed and an unknown number of vehicles and people fell into the river.

Three people were later rescued from the water.

At about 11:30 am, 70-year-old Hu Guonian and his wife Li Wanying passed the Qinglian Bridge on their way home from a fair.

As cars and motorcycles were packed on the bridge, Hu's wife asked him to leave the bridge quickly. Not long after they passed it, they heard a roaring sound and looked back to see the cars and motorcycles had disappeared.

The stone bridge was built in the 1960s and was reinforced after sustaining damage in the magnitude-8 Wenchuan earthquake in 2008. It was only reopened for use about a week ago when a nearby bridge was closed for reinforcements, said Hu, who was speaking to China News Service.

When the bridge collapsed, Li Shihua and Li Shiyun, two farmers from Jiuling town, happened to be at the site.

After the bridge collapsed, people fell into the river as if "dumplings were being poured into a pot", they told China News Service.

They rushed to the bank of the river, pulling two survivors out.

"Another survivor who is good at swimming was saved by onlookers. The local government is looking for more survivors," said Liu Mingjun, an official with the Jiangyou government.

The Niubizi Bridge and Xilong-Gongxing Bridge in Mianzhu city also collapsed.

- Huang Zhiling

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