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Rainstorm topples NE China bridge, 4 killed


16:39, July 16, 2013

SHENYANG, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Heavy overnight rain has toppled a road bridge that formed part of a national expressway in the city of Fuxin, in northeast China's Liaoning Province, killing four people, local authorities said on Tuesday.

The accident happened at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

Built in 1969, the bridge in Fuxin forms part of the No. 101 national expressway linking Beijing with Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning.

The Raoyang River that runs underneath the bridge witnessed record flooding on Monday, with it level hitting the highest point since the river's hydrometeorology data was first recorded in 1951. The crest of the flood has passed the river section in Fuxin.

In addition to the accident, the city's transport department has found another three bridges on the route in danger of collapse as downpours have eroded the structures' foundations. The department has closed the expressway section to traffic.

By Monday morning, local authorities had evacuated 500 residents away from the city's low-lying communities, some of which have been flooded.

At 9 a.m., the provincial meteorological station issued a red rainstorm alert, the highest level in a four-color alert system, for Kuandian County, Dandong City, warning the region of up to 100 mm of precipitation in three hours.

Meanwhile, thunderstorms and rainstorms are continuing to wreak havoc in central China's Hubei Province and the southwest province of Sichuan.

A storm accompanied by gales in Laohekou City, Hubei, tore down over 50 residential rooms on Monday night, injuring 12 people. Firefighters had to use inflatable cushions to prop up collapsed roof slabs to pull out injured residents.

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