Highway Collapse in China Kills at Least 19, Traps Vehicles After Heavy Rains

A deadly highway collapse in China's Guangdong province after heavy rains kills 19, traps 18 vehicles, and raises concerns about infrastructure safety and emergency response capabilities.

Aqsa Younas Rana
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Highway Collapse in China Kills at Least 19, Traps Vehicles After Heavy Rains

Highway Collapse in China Kills at Least 19, Traps Vehicles After Heavy Rains

A section of a highway in Meizhou, Guangdong province, China collapsed early Wednesday morning after heavy rains, killing at least 19 people and trapping 18 vehicles. The incident occurred around 2:10 a.m. local time on the Meizhou-Dabu Expressway near the exit of the Tea Yang section, in the direction of Chaoyang Town, Dabu County.

The collapse involved a 17.9-meter (58.7-foot) stretch of the road, covering an area of 184.3 square meters. Eyewitness accounts and social media footage showed a chaotic scene, with vehicles plummeting into a deep, dark, fiery chasm. Flames and smoke were visible rising from the pit where the cars had fallen.

Rescue workers have taken 30 people to the hospital, mostly residents of Fujian province. Many of the injured suffered fractures and internal injuries. Search and rescue efforts involving various emergency services, including fire trucks and ambulances, were still ongoing by late morning.

Why this matters: The tragic incident highlights the vulnerability of infrastructure to extreme weather events and the need for improved safety measures and emergency response capabilities. It also raises questions about the maintenance and construction standards of highways in the region.

The provincial government and the Communist Party committee of Guangdong have prioritized the incident and directed a swift and coordinated response to manage the aftermath and address ongoing safety concerns. The Meilong Expressway has been completely closed in both directions to facilitate emergency operations, and the estimated time for the restoration of traffic is unknown.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, although the collapse occurred after heavy rainfall in the area. Guangdong province has been hit by extreme weather events in recent weeks, including fatal floods and a deadly tornado. "The rescue operation is still ongoing," a local official stated, emphasizing the focus on saving lives and preventing further casualties.

Key Takeaways

  • Highway section collapsed in Meizhou, China after heavy rain, killing 19 and trapping 18 vehicles.
  • Collapse involved a 17.9-meter stretch of road, covering 184.3 sq. meters, with vehicles plummeting into a chasm.
  • 30 people taken to hospital, many with fractures and internal injuries; rescue efforts still ongoing.
  • Incident highlights infrastructure vulnerability to extreme weather, raising questions about maintenance and standards.
  • Local authorities investigating cause, as Guangdong province faces extreme weather events in recent weeks.