Collapsed Highway Kills At Least 48 People: REPORT

(REUTERS/Aly Song)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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A section of highway collapsed in southeastern China Wednesday due to a month of heavy rain killing at least 48 individuals, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Chinese officials said that 30 people sustained non-life threatening injuries while three other people were found but not identified, possibly bringing the death toll up to 51, the outlet reported.

The collapse occurred during the five-day period of May Day, when many Chinese travel, The AP reported. The holiday celebrates the achievements of workers across the globe, the Chinese Language Institute noted. (RELATED: Chinese Communist-Linked Battery Maker Breaks The Bank On Lobbying Amid Congressional Scrutiny)

23 vehicles were swallowed up in the collapse and fell down a steep slope, the outlet noted. Some cars caught fire due to the impact, the outlet reported.

“Because some of the vehicles involved caught fire, the difficulty of the rescue operation has increased,” Wen Yongdeng, the Communist Party secretary for the Meizhou emergency management bureau, said, according to The AP. “Most of the vehicles were buried in soil during the collapse, with a large volume of soil covering them.”

The local official also mentioned that the effect that heavy rainfall had on the soil only increased the difficulties for the ongoing search and rescue process, The AP noted. Around 22 inches of rain were recorded as falling in the area over a period of four weeks, the AP reported.