Death toll from China bridge collapse climbs to 51, search continues for 15 missing
The death toll from a bridge collapse in central China's Henan Province has climbed to 51 and 15 people remain missing more than a week after the tragedy, the local government said Monday.
As of Sunday night, rescuers had retrieved 51 bodies from Yihe River in Luanchuan County of Luoyang City, and continued to search for the missing, a county government spokesman said, Xinhua reported.
"Five teams of about 40 rescuers are still searching for the missing," said Zhou Hongsen, a senior county official. "We also have offered cash rewards hoping more residents would join the search and rescue."
The bridge over the Yihe River collapsed at around 5 p.m. on July 24. A survivor said the bridge was crowded with people who were watching the flood torrents when it collapsed.
The 23-year-old bridge was more than 200 meters long and 10 meters high.
An initial investigation showed it collapsed after fallen tree trunks became stuck under it, blocking the passage of the raging flood waters.
A pedestrian bridge had been erected near its ruins, with police officers standing on duty on both ends to ensure safety.
A bigger temporary floating bridge would be completed within two days to allow light vehicles to cross the river, said Zhou.