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Death toll rises to nine in Chinese bridge collapse

Nine people have been confirmed dead after a major highway viaduct collapsed in central China’s Hunan Province on Sunday.

Rescue efforts have now been called off with all bodies retrieved from the scene. In total nine were killed and 16 injured, officials have confimed.

Reuters reports on collapse

About 200 meters of the viaduct, supported by eight columns, collapsed at 4:24pm on Sunday on Hongqi road in downtown Zhuzhou city. The road and vehicles passing beneath were buried, reports the Xinhua News Agency.

Police are investigating the cause of the accident. So far, nine people have been placed under police surveillance, Xinhau reports..

The bridge, which spans the busy Hongqi Square, was closed for demolition on 5 May. Contractors had already blasted part of the viaduct and planned to demolish the collapsed section on Wednesday.

The viaduct opened in 1995 and was recognized as the first urban flyover in Hunan. It was 2,750m long and 8m tall.

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