China – the country that can make the world’s largest armchair (but where the motorways collapse just TEN MONTHS after being built)
Motorway collapse is one of a string of recent transport disasters in China
Fears raised over safety standards on country’s road and rail network
Tragedy follows unveiling of ‘world’s largest armchair’ in Shanghai
China’s economy is continuing to grow at breakneck speed but – as these pictures show – the giant nation’s infrastructure is quite literally buckling under the strain.
At least three people were killed and five injured when this motorway bridge in Heilongjiang province in north east China collapsed today sending four huge trucks crashing 100ft to the ground below.
The tragedy comes after what is claimed to be the world’s largest ‘sofa chair’ was unveiled in Shanghai – showcasing the more positive side of China’s incredible economic growth.
Collapse: Huge trucks lie on their side after being thrown off the Yangmingtan Bridge after it collapsed in Harbin in Heilongjiang province, north east China
Horror: The bridge was only 10 months old when a large section broke off and tumbled to the ground below
Thrown off: A truck lies on its side surrounded by its spilled load after crashing to the ground when the bridge collapsed
Devastation: The shattered remains of the truck, and another behind it, show the force of the impact when they hit the ground
The bridge collapse is one of a number of horrifying accidents on China’s expanding road and rail networks in recent years – leading to fears that safety is being sacrificed for the speed of construction.
Four trucks crashed to the ground, crushing there occupants and sending their loads spilling across the ground.
The tragedy comes just ten months after the multimillion pound roadway was constructed and was one of two transport disasters to hit the province this week, with a train crash at a railway station on Thursday also injuring at least 24 people.
Xinhua news agency said it was at least the sixth major bridge collapse across the country since July last year – fuelling fears over the safety of China’s fast-expanding infrastructure.
But despite fears about its infrastructure, China continues to amaze the world with the sheer scale of its economic growth.
And nothing could symbolise this expansion better than the world’s largest armchair, which has been put on display in a Shanghai department store.
The massive seat, which stands nearly 22ft tall and 25ft wide can be turned into a stage for performances at the weekend.
Performances: The chair is so big it is used as a stage by performers on the weekend
Giant: Two children pose for photos in front of the 22ft high, 25ft wide chair in a department store in Shanghai today
Scale: A man sits in a regular size armchair as below him people pose for photos in front of the 6.8-meter-tall, 7.7-meter-wide sofa chair
The chair is so big that it can be turned into a stage for performance in the weekends. Though quite why the chair was made – other than to show off China’s phenomenal economy – is not entirely known
The latest train collision occurred on Thursday evening at the Jiamusi railway station in Heilongjiang, according to Xinhua.
A railway spokesman in the provincial capital said most of the injured were preparing to get off a train when the other train collided with it, causing them to fall.
Two U.S. citizens were among the dead in December last year when a bullet train crashed off a bridge after leaving the Zhejiang provincial capital of Hangzhou.
Safety fears: The latest accidents follow a series of disasters on China’s road and rail network. In December last year two U.S. citizens were among the dead when a bullet train crashed after leaving Hangzhou
Devastation: Dozens of rescue workers battled to save the survivors of the train crash
Plummet: A lorry lies at the bottom of a huge sinkhole on Shiliuzhuang road, in Beijing, China in April last year. The driver and his passenger jumped out of the vehicle before it sank into the hole
Most of the injuries were slight and five people were under medical observation.
An investigation into the crash is now under way.
Train and road accidents – like the one pictured below – are relatively common in China due to lax safety and maintenance procedures.
Shocking: A truck hangs precariously on the edge of a bridge in China after structure’s collapse in Sichuan province in 2009
Casualties: Three people were killed and 12 others injured when the bridge collapsed