BEIJING: A stone arch bridge under illegal construction in a village in southern China collapsed, killing 11 people and injuring several others, state media and an official said Sunday.
Rescuers pulled out 26 people, mostly construction workers, after the bridge came down Saturday afternoon in Liangkengkou village in Guangdong province, according to an official at the information office of Maoming city government.
Five of them were confirmed dead at the scene. Eight others were seriously injured, six of whom died later in the hospital, said the man, who refused to give his name, as is common with Chinese officials. One person managed to escape the bridge collapse, he said.
He said that the village committee had arranged to build a new bridge over a waterless ditch, but failed to get permission. The local government ordered construction to stop several times, but villagers took advantage of the three-day May Day holiday from Thursday to Saturday to restart the work.
The Maoming government official said three people responsible for the project were in police custody. The village committee could not be reached Sunday.
Photos on state media showed a steep slope with dozens of tumbled stones and planks of fallen wood, which had been used as scaffolding.