HARBIN, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The ramp of a multimillion-dollar bridge in northeast China collapsed early Friday morning, sending four trucks falling 30 meters to the ground, killing three people and injuring five.
The ramp, about 3.5 km from the main body of the Yangmingtan Bridge, tilted to one side and crashed onto the ground at 5:30 a.m., said Sun Qingde, deputy head of the construction committee of Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province.
The injured have been sent to the Harbin No.1 People's Hospital. Liu Guodong, who suffered minor injuries, said that "I was dozing off in the truck when suddenly the truck rolled to the ground. It was so terrifying."
Among the five injured, three are seriously injured and are each undergoing surgery, doctors said.
Xinhua reporters saw trucks crashed upside-down onto the ground. Patches of blood and window shards were scattered around.
By 1:30 p.m., except for the crashed ramp, the main body of the Yangmingtan Bridge and other ramps were reopened to traffic, said the municipal traffic police.
It is at least the sixth major bridge collapse across the country since July last year, following one in Beijing and another in the eastern city of Hangzhou. Shoddy construction and over-loading have been blamed.
The Yangmingtan Bridge was only opened to traffic in November. With a total length of 15.42 km, spanning the Songhua River in Harbin, the eight-lane bridge was claimed to be the longest in north China.
Local media reported that its construction cost 1.88 billion yuan (296 million U.S. dollars).
Built by the China Railway First Group Co., Ltd, it was the third bridge erected across the Songhua River in the past four years.