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Dozens Killed in Highway Collapse in Southern China: State Media

Days of heavy rain caused a section of highway to collapse in southern Guangdong Province on Wednesday, killing at least 48 people, according to state media

Rescue workers said mudslides hampered their work getting to the dead and injured after the drama on Wednesday in Guangdong province (China news video screen-grab).


Dozens of cars tumbled down a hillside in southern China on Wednesday when a section of an expressway collapsed in Guangdong province after days of heavy rain. At least 48 people were killed, state media said on Thursday.

The highway linking Meizhou city with Dabu county collapsed in the wee hours of Wednesday, the first day of the five-day May Day holiday break as millions in the country travel.

The collapse occurred at around 2:10am, Xinhua news agency reported, adding that about 18 metres of the road gave way and caused 23 vehicles to plunge. Another 30 people sustained injuries, it said.


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Meizhou is one of the areas in southern China’s Guangdong that has been badly hit by heavy rain and hail since late April, which set off dangerous mudslides, caused widespread flooding, destroyed bridges and forced more than 110,000 people to relocate.

Meizhou officials told a press conference on Thursday livestreamed on state broadcaster CCTV that 577 relief personnel and more than 80 rescue vehicles and equipment had been dispatched to the site, but rescue work proved difficult as some vehicles were buried deep in the mud after their fall.

Video from state media showed a twisted metal guardrail and a big hole in the path of the forested green area where the collapse happened. Rescue personnel with cranes and excavators as well as a few damaged cars could also be seen.

Some vehicles fell and caught fire, according to social media accounts in China. A driver of a vehicle said in a video posted on Weibo he saw a crack in the road in front of him and mistook it for a puddle, but sped off before the road collapsed.

President Xi Jinping called for the utmost efforts to save lives and eliminate danger as rainy weather continued in the region, according to a Xinhua report.

Task forces from the central and local governments have been dispatched for the rescue work, the report added.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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