BEIJING: A bridge on a major expressway in central China collapsed today, leaving the twisted remains of cars and trucks scattered among the rubble as state media reported at least eight fatalities.
There was confusion over the toll, with the official news agency Xinhua saying eight people were dead and 13 injured after a fireworks-laden truck exploded, sending a long section of the viaduct crashing to the ground.
State-run China National Radio initially said that 26 people had been killed, but the report could not later be found on its website, after local authorities in Henan province called the figure inexplicable.
State broadcaster CCTV quoted nearby residents as saying they heard a loud booming noise, although it added the cause of the collapse was unclear and it was not known if the truck exploded before or after the bridge collapsed.
Pictures showed tangled wreckage beneath the bridge, including three upturned trucks with their wheels pointing skywards, as rescue workers in orange uniforms scaled the wreckage.