The Zhuzhou city government said Wednesday families of the nine people killed in a viaduct collapse on Sunday could each get 400,000 yuan (59,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation, regardless of whether they were residents.
Li Zhiguo, a government spokesman, said eight of the 16 injured people were still hospitalized Wednesday. A 31-year-old man who suffered the worst injuries was in intensive care.
A 160-meter section in the central part of the viaduct collapsed at 4:24 p.m. Sunday on Hongqi Road in downtown Zhuzhou, Hunan Province. The debris crushed 24 vehicles underneath.
The site was still cordoned off Wednesday. More than 400 police were on duty to help direct traffic jams caused by the bottleneck. Seven streets that lead to the site were closed and 11 bus routes detoured.
The 2,750-meter Hongqi Road Viaduct, built in 1995, was the city's first viaduct. It was to have been demolished Wednesday. A section of the structure a few dozen meters long was removed two days before the accident in a trial demolition.
Area residents questioned the procedures used in the trial demolition. One, surnamed Zhang, said the communications authority did not block the traffic under the viaduct after the trial demolition. "The viaduct was dangerous after the trial, and shot holes drilled on every pier must also have caused the safety problem," he said.
A government work team led by Liu Raochen, head of the Hunan provincial bureau of work safety, is investigating the accident.
Contractors of the project were being investigated, according to an official who declined to be identified.
He said it would take 50 days at least for the government to hold a new round of bids to hire other contractors.