FUZHOU, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Experts have ascertained overload as the immediate reason behind the bridge collapse that caused one death and 22 injuries Thursday in east China's Fujian Province.
A spokesman with Wuyishan city committee of the Communist Party of China said Saturday that the serious overload of a heavy-duty truck plus years of overload by the bridge was the direct cause of the collapse.
Collapse of a section of the Wuyishan Gongguan Bridge, which is a vital traffic hinge linking the Wuyishan Mountain Resort and the 101 Provincial Highway, happened at around 8:50 a.m. Thursday, when an overloaded heavy-duty truck was running on the section.
The truck, with a designed load of 15.65 metric tons, carried more than 60 metric tons of cargos. Plus its own weight, the truck's total weight was more than 80 metric tons when the accident occurred.
When the bridge collapsed, a tourist bus, carrying 23 people, fell off the bridge, said the spokesman, leaving the driver dead and 22 passengers injured. All of the injured were rushed to hospital.
Experts said the analysis result needed to be verified by authoritative institutions.
Designed by Fujian Provincial Traffic Planning and Designing Institute, the steel arch bridge is 301 meters long and 18 meters wide.
With a total investment of 17 million yuan (2.6 million U.S. dollars), the bridge's construction by the provincial forest engineering company started in November of 1996. It opened to traffic on Nov. 20, 1999.