10 cars, buses plunge into Sichuan river as bridge collapses in heavy rain

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 4:40pm

Cars, buses and pedestrians were seen tumbling into a river when a bridge in Jiangyou city, Sichuan province, collapsed on Tuesday morning.

Witnesses said the bridge fell into the river at about 11.50am on Tuesday, taking about 10 vehicles with it including two passenger buses, Sichuan Online News reported.

Rescue work is said to be under way. Three people have been rescued from the river - two in serious condition and one with minor injuries, according to Mianyang city health officials.

View Larger Map

Photos on social media show an entire section of the Qinglian arch bridge wiped away in a visibly swollen Tongkou River. The two-lane Qinglian Bridge was built in 1967 and a replacement span is under construction.

A red rainstorm signal was raised by Sichuan’s meteorological authorities on Tuesday morning, which indicated rainfall was greater than 100mm.

China operates a four-colour-coded warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Heavy rain was forecasted by the National Meteorological Centre for much of the country’s north this week.

The centre said some areas of Gansu and Shaanxi provinces as well as the Sichuan Basin would see rainfall of 100mm to 180mm from Monday to Tuesday, accompanied by thunderstorms and gales.