26 have lost their lives while several others have been injured as a truck exploded, blowing up part of an elevated highway in China.
The blast prompted the collapse of a large portion of the roadway, stretching over 80 m (262 ft). As a result, over a dozen cars plummeted off the bridge earlier today, on Friday, February 1. Vehicles took a 30-m (98-ft) plunge to the ground, News Talk 650
The accident took place near Sanmenxia, Mianchi county, Henan province, reports say. The spot is located approximately 90 km (55 miles) west of the ancient city of Luoyang.
A photo of the crash scene, originally published by local newspaper Dahe Daily, quickly made its way online on the Weibo social networking site. The snapshot, which is attached to this news report, reveals how the highway is sectioned, a truck stationed as the roadway ends.
It appears the tractor trailer was transporting fireworks for China's upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations. The cause of the explosion is not known at this point, but we will keep you updated as this story progresses. An investigation into why the truck blew up is underway.
Some speculate that the shipment was not being carried in safe conditions. Before the Chinese Lunar New Year, the demand for fireworks increases exponentially, prompting the production and distribution of large shipments in a short amount of time.
China National Radio initially made the announcement that 26 motorists had been killed in the crash; however, a spokesman for the Communist party in Sanmenxia, Nie Jianyin gives a different report. He states that 5 casualties are listed, while 8 other victims are recovering in hospital care.
This is not the first Lunar New Year-related incident that the country registers. In 2006, 36 people lost their lives at a Henan fair, as a large quantity of fireworks blew up in a storage room.