3 killed, 2 injured as elevated road collapses in Wuxi
An elevated section of the 312 national highway in Wuxi, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, collapsed at around 6:10pm on Thursday, killing three people and leaving another two injured.
Three cars were crushed under the elevated road when it collapsed, one of which was parked and unoccupied at the time. The other two cars seated three people, who were all dead in the accident, according to Xinhua news agency.
Rescuers told Shanghai Daily that the victims included a mother and her daughter.
The two injured were from another five vehicles, including three cars and two trucks, which were running on the elevated road when the accident occurred.
An investigation indicated that the cause of the road collapse was an overloaded truck, according to Jiangsu's transport authority.
Two locals, surnamed Mao and Chen, who live only about 50 meters away from the scene, said they heard a blast and then felt the ground shaking.
Chen told Shanghai Daily she thought it was an earthquake.
“I went out to the road and saw the elevated road had collapsed,” said Mao, who at the time was preparing fishing tools with Chen. “We saw a tricycle smashed but the driver escaped.”
Mao said the ambulances arrived around 6:30pm, but by the time they left the scene two hours later, no one had been rescued.
Zhang, a local worker who at the time was resting, also heard the collapse.
“The scene was sealed off around 8pm, but I wore a helmet, so I stayed a bit longer,” Zhang said. “I saw excavators heading to the scene, but the cars buried seemed out of reach.”
Another local citizen, who declined to be named, said there are several logistics parks nearby. "Trucks are a common scene around the elevated road," he said.
Shanghai Daily reporters found Xining Road, another elevated road nearby, limits the weight of vehicles to 20 tons, but a truck with a loading limit of 30 tons was parked on the side of the road.
A local online ride-hailing driver surnamed Cai told Shanghai Daily that the national highway is no stranger to overloaded trucks.
“It’s quite often to see overloaded trucks running on the elevated road at night,” Cai said.
Open data showed the section of national highway in Wuxi finished construction in November 2005. It covers 48.5 kilometers.
In 2012, an elevated road in Harbin of Heilongjiang Province collapsed and four trucks fell with it. The incident killed three people and injured five. Investigation suggested the direct cause of the collapse was that all four fallen trucks were heavily overload.