2 dead, 3 missing in Guangzhou after cargo ship rams bridge over Pearl River

Two people died and three are still missing after a cargo ship rammed into a bridge over the Pearl River in Guangzhou, southern China on Thursday morning. A crew member was also injured.

An initial investigation has found that five vehicles – including one motorcycle – were on the Lixinsha bridge in the city’s Nansha district when it was hit by the empty ship, fracturing the structure.

Two of the vehicles plunged into the river while three landed on the vessel that was wedged beneath the gaping hole.

The Guangzhou bus company said earlier that one of its drivers was alone in his vehicle when it fell off the bridge. It is not yet known if he is among the casualties so far accounted for.

The captain of the cargo ship – which was on its way to Nansha from Foshan’s Nanhai district – has been arrested, according to a Beijing News report that cited a national legislature representative of the town.


Bridge collapses in Guangzhou after cargo ship collision, sending vehicles into the water

Bridge collapses in Guangzhou after cargo ship collision, sending vehicles into the water

Work to strengthen the bridge, which connects Guangzhou to other Greater Bay Area (GBA) cities like Zhongshan and Shenzhen, began in 2022 because of safety concerns.

But the city’s transport department reported repeated delays, extending the completion date for the anti-collision and strengthening works from August 2022 to the same month this year.

Nansha – at the southern tip of the city in Guangdong province – is seen as a key zone for technological development in the GBA, the government scheme to integrate 11 southern Chinese cities into an economic powerhouse.

The State Council rolled out a plan in 2022 to turn the district into a hub for GBA technological innovation and cooperation by 2035.

Under the plan, Nansha will be the province’s centre for scientific cooperation with Hong Kong and Macau.

The central government has also vowed to support collaboration between mainland and Hong Kong research institutions, with the University of Science and Technology opening its Guangzhou campus in the district in the same year.


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