Rescue continues in highway disaster

2024-05-04 10:06:29China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Rescue operations and disaster relief efforts continued on Friday following a fatal road collapse on an expressway in Guangdong province.

The accident killed 48 people and injured another 30, after a stretch of highway gave way around 2:10 am on Wednesday along the Chayang section of the Meizhou-Dabu Expressway.

Rescuers have been operating in shifts, ensuring continuous equipment operations to prevent any oversight of affected vehicles or individuals, Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

Teams of medical experts have been deployed to Chayang. By Friday, seven teams comprising a total of 34 mental health experts had arrived, conducting psychological crisis interventions for hospitalized patients, their families, next of kin and rescuers.

Following the collapse, locals in Meizhou spontaneously donated blood, forming long queues to help out late into the night. Blood supplies in Meizhou had stabilized by Thursday.

Among the harrowing accounts emerging from the tragedy, stories of individuals who survived the accident and selflessly risked their lives to rescue others at the site began widely circulating online.

Liu Yongjin, who was returning to his hometown in Fujian province from Shenzhen in Guangdong, was among the first responders who bravely descended to rescue those trapped.

"In total, I successfully rescued six individuals, including three adults and three children, with the youngest being just 3 years old," Liu said, adding that he could hear an explosion behind him.

When asked if he was frightened during the rescue operations, Liu replied: "At first, I was scared, my legs were shaking, but once I started doing it, I wasn't afraid anymore. I just continued doing what I believed I should do."

A driver, who gave his surname as Rao, spotted a dark area ahead on the expressway, but had no idea that a landslide was underway.

As he approached the ongoing disaster, he quickly switched lanes and accelerated, with another six family members inside, according to a report by the China National Radio.

Rao said he felt the vehicle was flying. His family quickly exited the vehicle and shouted as loud as they could, flashing their mobile phone lights to alert other fast-approaching vehicles.

But it did not work. The family tragically witnessed vehicles fall into the crater one by one.

Huang Jiandu, Rao's father-in-law, walked back along the roadway's median and kept shouting to warn oncoming motorists.

As his shouts failed to be heeded, Huang fell to his knees in the middle of the road to force the vehicles to stop. This time, his tactic worked, and motorists began slamming on their brakes to avoid hitting him.

Then more people joined in to halt oncoming traffic as the enormity of the collapse became clear, according to the CNR report.


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