Highway Collapse In Harbin Kills Three

An elevated stretch of highway on Third Ring Road in Harbin, Heilongjiang province collapsed at around 5:30 am today, according to China News, killing two immediately and injuring six others. One of the injured later died at the hospital.

The accident happened about 3.5 kilometers from Yangmingtan Bridge, which we’re told was built less than a year ago. Apparently the road collapsed when four full-capacity transport trucks carrying stone and fodder were passing at the same time. All four vehicles went down with the road. The specific cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

The video after the jump was shot by one of the first citizen journalists to arrive on the scene (judging by the angle of the shadows). “Who said you could film?” the first voice you hear asks.

“I can’t film?”

“You’re not allowed.”

“Who doesn’t allow?”

“Where are you from?”

“Why do you care? Who doesn’t allow filming?”

“We don’t allow.”

“You don’t allow? Why isn’t it allowed?”

The authority figure walks away, but the man with the camera persists: “Why don’t you allow, might I ask?”

The filming continues for a few more seconds. Another person in a police uniform also tells him to stop, putting a hand to the camera’s lens.

UPDATE, 5:55 pm: Some more information according to Xinhua:

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.

More pictures:

    9 Responses to “Highway Collapse In Harbin Kills Three”

    1. Jess

      BBC reports that the bridge cost more than a quarter of a billion dollars to build. Doesn’t that make you think that someone will get executed for it?
      On the other hand, I’m not sure if three deaths is enough to generate the publicity required for a monkey-scaring, chicken execution.

    2. KopyKatKiller

      Contractor: I can save 3 yuan a kilogram by mixing cxhalk dust and sawdust into the concrete.

      Government Inspector: Great, cut me in.

      Contractor: How’s 50 50 sound?

      Government Inspector: Great! We’re going to be rich, and know one will ever find out!

    3. KopyKatKiller

      Contractor: I can save 3 yuan per kilogram by mixing chalk dust and sawdust into the concrete.

      Government Inspector: Great, cut me in!

      Contractor: How’s 50 50 sound?

      Government Inspector: Great! We’re going to be rich, and no one will ever find out!

    4. Joe

      The concrete was ok. It’s just that the steel inside the pillars couldn’t bear the uneven load. The area where the steel connects to the beam which carries the road appears to be rather small. It seems that the steel was pulled out of the pillar which was near the centre of the road below. This might not have happened if the 4 lorries had used both lanes, not just the right hand side one.

    5. bert


      Wasn’t there an elevated roadway a few years back that had 6 inches of re-rod put in the cement to make it appear that full length re-rod was used? China’s motto, “We just don’t care.”


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