Vessel Sinks, Four Missing After Bridge Collision in China

A suspension bridge lit up at night
Updated Published

On April 23, a maritime accident occurred when a vessel en route to Danganzhou Tailwater collided with the Jiujiang Bridge on the G240 National Highway in Guangdong Province, South China, resulting in the vessel's sinking.

The incident unfolded at 09:20 pm local time when the ship struck a bridge pillar, causing the cargo hold to flood rapidly. By 11:40 pm, the vessel had submerged completely in the river.

Reports from local media indicate that out of the eleven crew members aboard, seven were rescued during an overnight operation, but four remain missing. In response, the local government mobilized a significant rescue effort involving 32 vessels and over 400 personnel to locate the missing crew members.

The precise cause of the crash is still under investigation, though preliminary suggestions point to difficult navigating conditions due to upstream flooding and strong river currents. Recent heavy rainfall in the region has exacerbated these conditions, with local reports also mentioning that approximately ten people are missing due to the area's flooding.

In response to the accident, traffic police in Guangdong Province have heightened their vigilance, and officials are conducting safety inspections of the bridge. Meanwhile, the Department of Marine has halted all marine traffic within a 3-kilometer radius around the bridge site, directing all other vessels to alternative routes except for those involved in the rescue operations.

The vessel involved, registered in Fuzhou and carrying 4,900 tonnes of rolled steel, was traveling from Heshan city to Fuzhou when the accident occurred.