NY Times – One of the longest bridges in northern China collapsed on Friday, just nine months after it opened, setting off a storm of criticism from Chinese Internet users and underscoring questions about the quality of construction in the country’s rapid expansion of its infrastructure.
A nearly 330-foot-long section of a ramp of the eight-lane Yangmingtan Bridge in the city of Harbin dropped 100 feet to the ground. Four trucks plummeted with it, resulting in three deaths and five injuries.
The 9.6-mile bridge is one of three built over the Songhua River in that area in the past four years.
Questions about the materials used during the construction and whether the projects were properly engineered have been the subject of national debate ever since a high-speed train plowed into the back of a stopped train on the same track on July 23 last year in the eastern city of Wenzhou.
A collapsed section of the Yangmingtan Bridge’s ramp, in the city of Harbin, dropped 100 feet to the ground on Friday, killing three people and injuring five.
Photographs on Chinese Web sites on Friday appeared to show that the collapsed section of the Yangmingtan Bridge’s ramp had fallen on land, not in the river.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, the Yangmingtan Bridge was the sixth major bridge in China to collapse since July 2011. Chinese officials have tended to blame overloaded trucks for the collapses, and did so again on Friday.
Many in China have attributed the recent spate of bridge collapses to corruption, and online reaction to the latest collapse was scathing.