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Human error blamed for bridge collapse

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

08:39, June 21, 2012

An under construction bridge collapsed in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, only six weeks before it was scheduled to open.

The Fushun government said workers violated construction rules, which caused part of the steel girders between two piers to fall during a rainstorm on Monday. It ruled the collapse a workplace accident without casualties.

The bridge had cost nearly 30 million yuan (US$4.7 million).

Surrounding roads have been cordoned off and work has been suspended. Inspectors have been sent to examine the damage and the remaining structure of the bridge, the government said.

Workers have started to clean up the debris and set up supports to prevent other collapses.

Government officials have rushed to the scene and Fushun Mayor Wang Guifeng ordered a further investigation into the cause.

Two other newly built bridges in nearby areas were scheduled to be checked in the wake of the collapse.

The collapsed bridge was 416.4 meters in length and was one of two bridges being built to Crescent Island Ecology Park.

Construction started in November and was expected to finish next month. Fushun Road Construction Group Corporation was under contract to build the bridge and the Fushun Urban Management Bureau monitored work at the site, Liaoshen Evening Post reported.

Dozens of recently completed bridges or those still under construction have collapsed in the last 20 years. Heavy rainfall, improper construction and substandard materials have been sited as the three main contributing factors for the collapses.

Last August, a bridge being built in Hainan Province collapsed and killed two people. Qianjiang Third Bridge in Hangzhou collapsed last July. The bridge, costing more than 500 million yuan was built in 1997 and had been overhauled in 2005 and 2006.

The frequent collapses of modern bridges triggered public complaints about corrupt officials. It has been claimed that officials have taken bribes to give contracts to inferior companies while turning a blind eye to construction violations.

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