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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China Bridge Safety Scare: Bridge Collapse Killed 22 At Least

Posted by Author on August 14, 2007

Reuters, Via Yahoo News, 2007-08-14:

BEIJING (Reuters) – A road bridge under construction across a river in southern China collapsed, killing 22 people and injuring 22, state media reported on Tuesday, but witnesses expected the death toll to rise substantially.

At least 39 people were missing after the 320-metre (1,000-foot) concrete arc bridge spanning the Tuo river in Fenghuang county, Hunan province, collapsed on Monday during the evening rush hour, Xinhua news agency said.

Some 400 police had been sent to the scene to keep order, Xinhua said.

Pictures showed bulldozers and rescue workers picking through a massive pile of debris stretching between two hills at the banks of the river.

“I saw a lot of bodies lying on the road, some of them were construction workers, and some were passers-by … blood was everywhere,” Yang Shunzhong, a witness, told Reuters.

“A car was crushed flat under the bridge, it was so ruined that I could not even tell the size of the car,” he said by telephone.

Police told Yang that they had found about 60 bodies, and more rescue workers were searching for the missing buried amid the ruins and in the river below.

State-run China Central Television reported the death toll at 22, but Yang said “people on the scene” told him it could rise much higher.

“A lot of women and children were on the scene, crying and looking for their families or friends,” Yang added.

DANGEROUS BRIDGES

A total of 123 workers were at the site of the 42-metre (138-foot) high bridge, which had been scheduled for completion this month, Xinhua said.

They had been “dismantling steel scaffolding erected during the construction process” at the 12 million yuan ($1.58 million) bridge since mid-July, it added.

Part of the bridge collapsed across a highway linking Fenghuang county to an airport in neighboring Guizhou province’s Tongren region, according to a notice posted on the local government Web site on Tuesday.

The accident was under investigation and police had detained a construction manager and a “project supervisor” for questioning, the agency said. (…… more details from Reuters’ report: China bridge death toll rises to 22, dozens missing)

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