China: Guangdong highway collapses killing at least 19 people

Image caption, State media carried pictures showing a massive gash in the mountainside
  • Author, Joel Guinto
  • Role, BBC News
  • 1 May 2024, 09:08 BST

    Updated 1 hour ago

Twenty-four people have died after a section of a mountainside highway collapsed in China’s Guangdong province, following days of heavy rain.

Thirty others were taken to hospital after a 17.9m (58 feet) stretch of the Meilong expressway crumbled at 02:10 local time (19:10 BST) on Wednesday.

Authorities have yet to state the cause of the incident.

Images on state media showed a massive gash in the forested mountainside below the highway.

The 30 people in hospital are “not currently at risk”, state media report. The provincial government has dispatched 500 emergency response personnel to the scene.

State media initially reported that 19 people had died but local authorities later said 24 people had been killed, with the number of injured persons still at 30.

Footage that appeared to have been taken shortly after the collapse showed flames and black smoke billowing from below the highway.

A total of 20 vehicles fell into the collapsed portion of the road, authorities said.

Another video carried by state media showed a smoking pile of charred cars partially covered in mud.

The floods also damaged dozens of houses, shut schools and caused flight cancellations and delays. Authorities have estimated economic losses of 140.6m yuan ($19.4m; £15.5m).

The wild weather continued over the weekend, when a tornado ravaged a factory district in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, killing five people and wounding 33 others.

Hailstones the size of golf balls were also seen raining down on the city.

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Video caption, Watch: Moment tornado hits power lines in Guangzhou, China

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