In recent years, “tofu bridges” (poor quality, collapse easily) in mainland China are being discussed at length. The previous bridge collapse accidents continue to shock people and now there’s been another collapse. On August 14, an overpass under construction in Deyang City, Sichuan province suddenly collapsed. CCTV reported only one death, but those who recorded the scene said that there must have been more casualties.
A tofu overpass collapse causes heavy casualties
Officials tried to block the news of the collapse according to Vision Times. However, footage of the overpass collapse taken by witnesses was still posted on the Internet. And those are shocking videos shot by many people from many different angles.
The footage showed when the overpass collapsed, construction workers were pinned under the bridge. The videos were immediately spread across the mainland. Later, the Emergency Management Bureau of Deyang City also confirmed, at about 9 am on August 14, there was an accident at a construction site, at the intersection of the southern section of Emei Road and Minjiang East Road.
It seems there was no hiding the accident. CCTV had to report it. CCTV reported that during the overpass collapse, one person died after unsuccessful rescue efforts, another was injured and was hospitalized and another person was trapped. In the early afternoon the trapped person was rescued and taken to the hospital.
However, Vision Times said, according to people familiar with the matter, many people were killed in the accident, some victims even had their skulls crushed. However, authorities have not spoken up to clarify the matter.
Some netizens also pointed out on Weibo that the accident site was a key project of the local urban construction department:
“In order to organize a so-called conference (the World Clean Energy Equipment Conference 2022 will be held in Deyang later this month), every Deyang citizen knows that all the city’s projects are currently being accelerated. … Anyway, the project leader, the construction staff, the construction supervisor, the on-site safety officer, all cannot escape!”
Many netizens also criticized the authorities for disregarding the lives and safety of workers for the sake of a face-saving project.
The sudden collapse of an overpass while under construction in Deyang City, Sichuan brought attention to similar accidents of dangerous bridges in mainland China.
A collapsed bridge in Zhejiang fell into the river and buried a crane
Last year a bridge under construction on the Hangyong Canal in Shaoxing district, Zhejiang province, partially collapsed and fell into the river below. The broken bridge fell on top of a crane, fortunately no one was injured.
At that time, the Shaoxing Emergency Management Bureau responded and initially concluded that the collapse was caused by “construction quality” problems. But it is worth mentioning that this bridge is part of the Hangzhou – Shaoxing – Taizhou expressway, with an investment of about 36.84 billion yuan (more than $5.4 billion). It is the largest infrastructure project in Shaoxing’s history.
A video circulating on the internet showed clear footage of the collapsed bridge falling into the river and on top of a crane.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency said that if the bridge had collapsed when it was open to traffic, it would have caused more casualties.
Tianjin Railway Bridge collapsed during maintenance, many casualties
According to information, when Tianjin Nanhuan Railway Company was replacing bridge sleepers, it suddenly collapsed, leaving workers in critical condition, trapped in the rubble under the bridge.
It is said that when the incident happened, the local police dispatched a rescue team of 192 people and 10 sniffer dogs to the scene. The Xinhai government announced on Weibo that the missing people had been found, and the on-site rescue was basically over. The incident left 7 dead and 5 people were injured.
Wuxi Viaduct collapsed, many cars crashed
On October 10, 2019, the viaduct section 312 on the Wuxi – Jiangsu Expressway to Shanghai collapsed, causing 3 deaths.
According to the local government’s Weibo, a large part of the Wuxi viaduct suddenly collapsed, great tracks of the bridge deck collapsed and crushed many vehicles below. According to the allegations, after a preliminary investigation, the bridge collapse because there were too many vehicles—it was overloaded. An overweight truck was on the bridge at the time of the collapse, causing the accident.
The bridge was about 5 meters (about 16 feet) high, with two lanes running west and east, and the 80-meter-long bridge deck warped. Beijing News reported that a driver captured the horrifying moment of the accident. In the video, vehicles were traveling normally under the bridge when suddenly a section collapsed. When the bridge collapsed, a roll of metal on a truck rolled down, causing many vehicles below to be crushed.
According to Vision Times, witnesses said that the nearby hotel shook like it was in an earthquake. A rescue worker at the scene said that four excavators were working together on the north side of the bridge, breaking the concrete on the bridge deck.
According to statistics, from 2011 to August 2012, at least 19 bridge collapse accidents occurred in China.
According to incomplete statistics from the International Finance News – an international financial newspaper affiliated to the People’s Daily, China had 11 bridge collapses in 2011and 8 bridge collapses in 2012; 19 bridge collapses in these two years caused at least 12 deaths and 57 injuries. Among them, there were 6 bridges built between 1997 and 2000, the longest opening time being less than 15 years; and a wooden covered bridge across a river in Nanjing was only built the year before, then it collapsed because it could not withstand the rain water test.
According to statistics from 2007 to 2012, China had at least 37 collapsed bridges, of which 13 were under construction when the accident occurred, causing at least 182 deaths and 177 injuries. Accordingly, China has an average of 7.4 “death bridges” each year.
It can be seen how terrible the tofu bridges in mainland China are. Do you dare drive across a bridge?