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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 06:55 GMT 07:55 UK
Road bridge collapses in China
A bridge has collapsed in north-eastern China sending at least three vehicles plummeting into the river beneath.

There is no information on the number of casualties, but two people have swum ashore after surviving the fall, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The two-lane bridge connected the cities of Panjin and Yingkou, in China's north-eastern province of Liaoning.

It is not yet known what caused the accident.

The 500-metre Tianzhuangtai bridge, high above the Liao river, is reported to have collapsed at around 0700 (2300GMT).

A witness told the Associated Press news agency that only the centre section of the bridge appeared to have collapsed.

According to Xinhua, divers conducting a rescue operation have been delayed by the rising tide, as the accident site is near an estuary.

The director of public security at Tianzhuangtai suggested heavy truck traffic may have led to the collapse.

But our correspondent in Beijing, Louisa Lim, says corruption in the building sector and poor quality control have in the past been blamed for such disasters.

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