I read up on Chinese news on an almost daily basis, and I am continually stumped by the sheer ridiculousness of the stories that I see. This one today has to take the cake…at least, it’s up there.
In a nutshell: A truck loaded with fireworks on a very high bridge on an expressway in Henan province has promptly exploded, causing the bridge to collapse. WTF!!!!! They have reported the number of deaths to be in the 20′s (so more likely in the 50′s), with cars having been pushed off the bridge, with others having been crushed. I swear to god – this is almost as good as the newly opened, massively expensive CCTV building in Beijing burning to the ground due to fireworks going off next door…or the policemen dying from fireworks explosions as they tooled around with them, having created a massive fireworks bonfire instead of disposing of them properly.
The list goes on and on. The entire country is full of these incidents. They’re not sure with this one where to point the blame. Was it simply the size of the explosion that caused the collapse? Was it the way the fireworks were packed in the truck that set them off – likely just stuffed in there. Or was it a shoddy bridge design? It’s highly likely a little from column A and a little from column B.
Just the other day, a massive sinkhole swallowed several buildings in Guangzhou – caused by workers digging a subway tunnel out from beneath it.
China is widely criticized for skimping on proper safety standards in its mad rush forward – hell, just ask any Chinese miner how they feel about their job. These stories are as ridiculous as they are horrifying, and they are practically a constant feature in any news report focusing on the mainland.