The eight-lane bridge, located in northeast China, collapsed early Friday morning, according to AFP (courtesy Channel News Asia
). The Yangmingtan Bridge had only been opened nine months.
According to several news reports, Chinese media say, a 320-foot (100 meters) section of the eight-lane bridge separated from the structure as four large trucks were passing over the bridge; all plunged to the ground.
The New York Times
reported the 9.6-mile bridge lost sections that fell 100 feet to the ground, hitting the land, not in the Songhua River the bridge had previously crossed.
Several media reports are suggesting many are questioning the safety and quality of the bridge, which was reportedly designed to handle up to 9,800 vehicles per hour. NYT also noted this is the sixth major bridge to collapse in China in the past 13 months.
The state allegedly tends to blame overloaded trucks as the problem, and is reportedly blaming heavy vehicles in this current collapse as well. Although, AFP reported "shoddy construction" is also being blamed.
"To break after apparently just under a year of operation, for sure there is a problem," said Huang Yi, spokesman for the State Work Safety Administration, which operates under the State Council, (described by AFP as being "akin to a national cabinet").
Outrage is spreading on Chinese social media website Sina Weibo, although one user simply said, “Tofu engineering work leads to a tofu bridge.”
Others are alleging shady practices by officials.
"Just imagine, some corrupt official takes four-fifths of the project funds, that means the project manager can only make money by skimping on the job," said one user.
reported the Yangmintan Bridge cost 1.88bn yuan ($286 million) to build. It took two years to build, and it didn't even last a year.
It is being reported Chinese authorities in Harbin are investigating, and will examine bridge design and construction, and will also look at the truck loads.