48 Dead After Highway Collapse

In a devastating incident in southeastern China, a significant portion of a highway collapsed, leading to the death of at least 48 individuals. The collapse, which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, sent approximately two dozen vehicles tumbling down a steep incline, resulting in a fiery wreckage. The incident took place in the city of Meizhou, which has been experiencing heavy rainfall for the past month, according to local authorities.

Wen Yongdeng, the city’s emergency management Communist Party secretary, informed the media that the majority of the vehicles were engulfed by soil during the collapse. He added that the rescue operation’s complexity had increased due to the fire that broke out in some of the vehicles involved in the accident.

The collapse of the four-lane freeway has also resulted in at least 30 injuries. Rescue teams are working tirelessly, deploying cranes in an attempt to locate more survivors or recover bodies from the muddy debris. However, the ongoing rainfall and potential landslide threats are posing significant challenges to the rescue efforts. The region has received over 22 inches of rain in the past month, exacerbating the situation.

The incident coincided with the first day of China’s five-day May Day holiday, a period when road travel typically increases. This has led to concerns about the safety of the country’s major roadways, particularly in light of the recent tragedy.

In response to the incident, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has urged all regions in the country to enhance their monitoring of major roads to prevent similar disasters in the future. This tragic event underscores the importance of infrastructure maintenance and monitoring, particularly in regions prone to extreme weather conditions.