Dozens Dead After Highway Collapse

Dozens Dead After Highway Collapse

( – At least 48 people have died in the wake of a catastrophic highway collapse in China’s Guangdong Province. A large section of the Meizhou-Dabu Expressway suddenly crumbled into a steep embankment just after 2 a.m. on May 1, sending a total of 20 vehicles tumbling down into the ravine.

Local emergency crews were first on the scene but quickly realized they needed to call in reinforcements. They organized a larger-scale collaborative response involving at least 500 people from multiple towns and cities, including a specialized mining rescue team.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management deployed its own task force to help guide rescue efforts in the hours after the disaster. Officials initially confirmed that 24 people had died in the collapse, while another 30 reportedly suffered injuries but were expected to survive.

The death toll tragically continued to rise as rescue teams worked to retrieve survivors. On May 2, officials updated the count to 36, and then 48.

Footage from China’s state-owned CCTV News Agency shows emergency crews using large cranes to retrieve vehicles from the ravine. Parts of the road appear completely cracked off, alongside badly twisted metal guardrails likely pulled down by the force of the collapse.

An ongoing investigation into the cause of the collapse is ongoing but has thus yet failed to pinpoint any specific causes. Rumors suggesting that it may have been a fatal flaw in the construction of the highway itself appear to be unsubstantiated, at least for now.

Southern China’s infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to damage during serious weather events. In 2010, over 300 people died after heavy rainfall triggered severe flooding throughout Guangdong province and collapsed a bridge near Xiao Sanjiang town. When Typhoon Mujigae struck five years later, it, too, destroyed several key crossing points.

Experts are likely already considering if a similar link exists in the recent collapse at the Meizhou-Dabu Expressway. Extreme rainfall and flooding throughout Guangdong Province in recent weeks had already killed at least four people and forced another 110,000 to evacuate.

Copyright 2024,