2 Feb 2013

Fireworks explosion caused highway collapse

5:10 am on 2 February 2013

A truck carrying fireworks has exploded on an elevated highway in central China, killing at least five people and causing part of the road to collapse.

The blast, which destroyed an 80m section of road, took place on the G30 expressway near the city of Sanmexia in Henan province.

China National Radio had put the number of dead at 26. Witnesses said some cars were thrown over the edge by the force of the blast, the cause of which was not immediately clear.

Xinhua news agency said six vehicles were retrieved from the wreckage. Eight people had been injured, the agency said.

State broadcaster CCTV said 10 trucks had been found under the bridge.

The G30 is the longest road in China, running for 4400km from the coast of eastern Jiangsu province to Urumqi, close to the Kazakhstan border.

The Lunar New Year in China is just over a week away. There are frequently reports of accidents as fireworks are made, stored or transported.