A huge truck filled with fireworks exploded on an elevated highway in China on Friday, destroying a large section of the road, and sending vehicles plummeting nearly 100 feet to the ground. Witnesses said the blast was so strong it sent some cars flying off the bridge, and still more trucks were found crushed underneath the debris. Five people were reportedly killed in the accident. Earlier reports that the death toll was as high as 26 were retracted.
The explosion happened on G30 highway in Henan province south of Beijing. The G30 is China's longest highway, stretching from Kazakhstan to the eastern coast. The huge shipment of fireworks was being delivered in preparation for the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, which is less than a week away. Officials don't yet know what caused them to ignite, taking a 262-foot section of highway with them, but the photographs of the aftermath are pretty dramatic. Some in China even questioned if fireworks alone could do this much damage, but given the corners that are often cut with the country's rapidly growing infrastructure, such shoddy construction is certainly possible.
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The explosion serves as a sad reminder of both the fragile nature of some of the China's roads and bridges and the danger of the highly popular —but largely unregulated — market for fireworks.
(All images via Reuters.)