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March 26, 2010

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2 missing after barge hits bridge and sinks

TWO people are missing believed drowned after a Shanghai canal bridge collapsed when a garbage-transport barge ran into it early yesterday morning.

The barge sank after being crushed by the falling bridge in the Pudong New Area.

Three of the five crew members were quickly rescued but two others were not so fortunate.

The vessel, carrying 16 containers of household waste, was headed for a landfill site near the East China Sea, city maritime officials said.

At 12:13am, the Shanghai Environment Logistics company barge lost control and crashed into the Suitang Bridge over the Dazhi River in Binghai Town.

"I thought it was an earthquake," said a woman surnamed Qian, who lives by the canal.

Crew members of a sand carrier anchored at a wharf near the bridge helped rescue the three on the barge.

The three crew members were standing on containers, calling for help and waving flashlights, while their two colleagues - Zhou Xuecai, 50, and Chen Zheming, 55 - went under with the barge.

Rescuers searched for the pair all yesterday, with hundreds of residents helping.

Workers were still salvaging containers floating on the canal - a major route for garbage vessels - yesterday afternoon as investigations into the accident continue.


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