Highway Collapse in Southern China Claims at Least 36 Lives

A tragic incident unfolded in southern China as heavy rains caused a section of a highway to collapse, resulting in the loss of at least 36 lives, authorities reported on Thursday. The collapse, which occurred around 2 a.m. on Wednesday in Meizhou city, saw 23 vehicles tumbling down a slope after a 17.9-meter section of the highway gave way. While 30 others sustained injuries, none were deemed life-threatening, according to a government statement.

The recent weeks have seen parts of Guangdong province, including Meizhou, grappling with unprecedented rainfall and flooding, compounded by hailstorms. In Guangzhou, the provincial capital, a tornado claimed the lives of five individuals over the weekend. Meizhou, in particular, had experienced flooding earlier in April, and heavy rains continued to batter the region in the days leading up to the highway collapse.

Eyewitnesses recounted hearing a loud noise before witnessing a wide hole opening up behind them, just after they had driven past the section of the highway that eventually collapsed. Video footage and images shared by local media depicted smoke and fire at the scene, with highway guardrails slanting into the flames and a cluster of charred vehicles strewn across the slope below the highway.

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