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Officials under probe for fatal bridge collapse

Updated: 2013-10-30 17:25
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Ten people, including seven local officials, are being probed for alleged power abuse, dereliction of duty and bribery linked to a fatal bridge collapse in Southwest China's Sichuan province, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Wednesday.

The collapse of the Panjiang Bridge in the city of Jiangyou occurred on July 9 and 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, said an SPP statement released Wednesday.

Investigations by local prosecuting organs revealed multiple issues in the bridge repair project, such as illegal subcontracting, unlicensed operations, slack supervision and improper inspection, which led to shoddy construction that did not strictly follow the initial design, according to the statement.

"Major safety risks existed in the Panjiang Bridge," said the statement, adding that the people under investigation come from various fields, including traffic management, urban construction, land tax and  economic development zone management.

Those under investigation include Zhou Xing, head of the road management section under the traffic bureau of Mianyang, the city overseeing Jiangyou.

Further investigation is under way, the statement added.

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