The Expressway Collapses in Southern China killed 36 people

Henderson State University Oracle

A nearly 60-foot segment of an expressway in a rural area of southeastern China collapsed before dawn on Wednesday after days of heavy rain, killing 36 people and injuring 30 others.
Photos released after the incident appeared to show that a landslide had begun under two lanes of an expressway that ran along the side of a hill.
A wide, brown scar of mud ran down the side of the hill between bright green foliage, leaving a large gap in the expressway.
Expressway traffic is especially heavy across China with the start of a five-day national holiday on Wednesday.
The section of expressway that collapsed was on the eastern outskirts of Meizhou, a city in Guangdong Province.
The local traffic police sealed the expressway off from traffic in both directions.
Another section of the same expressway was briefly closed in April last year after a landslide covered the road with mud.
On Saturday, a rare tornado and a hailstorm swept neighboring Guangzhou city, a production hub in southern China, killing five and injuring 33.


Following days of intense rain, a nearly 60-foot section of an expressway in a rural area of southeast China collapsed before dawn on Wednesday, leaving thirty people injured and 36 dead.

Images made public following the incident seemed to demonstrate that a landslide had started beneath two lanes of an expressway that curved around a hill. There was a significant opening in the expressway where a broad, brown mud scar ran between vivid green foliage and down the hillside.

Numerous fire engines were dispatched to the scene as a result of the intense fire that had burned through the night, leaving a jumble of cars at the foot of the hill beneath the hole, blackened and still smoking.

Numerous survivors reportedly suffered from severe injuries, including internal organ damage and severe bone fractures, according to state news media.

A witness reported to state news media that he heard a loud bang and momentarily lost control of his vehicle. Then he noticed that the cars that were following him had vanished into thin air and the road had collapsed directly behind him.

Since a five-day national holiday began on Wednesday, expressway traffic has become extremely congested throughout China. On the eastern periphery of Meizhou, a city in Guangdong Province, lay the section of expressway that failed. As the holiday got underway, many victims were en route to the nearby province of Fujian.

Over five hundred rescuers from the police, emergency, and other departments were sent in. Both directions of traffic were barred from the expressway by the local traffic police.

There are hills and rough terrain in a large portion of Guangdong’s northeastern corner, where the accident happened. When a landslide buried the road in mud in April of last year, another section of the same expressway had to be temporarily closed. Then, there were no recorded deaths or injuries.

Over the last two months, a persistent buildup of warm, humid air has been moving southwestward from the South China Sea, leaving southern China with extended periods of severe weather. Seven times in April, the Central Meteorological Observatory issued orange warnings, the highest level for severe weather.

Five people were killed and 33 injured when a rare tornado and hailstorm hit nearby Guangzhou city, a major production center in southern China, on Saturday. For the first time this year, Shenzhen Airport also issued an orange warning on Tuesday regarding significant flight delays.

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