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September 29, 2011

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Cargo boat crash puts 6 sailors into river

SIX people fell into the Huangpu River about 2pm yesterday after a cargo boat carrying coal crashed into an unfinished bridge structure on a suburban stretch of the river.

All the victims were quickly rescued, said the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration.

The six sailors were from the coal freighter, which capsized after hitting the bridge structure. Maritime officials said an initial investigation showed the coal barge collided with another cargo boat carrying sand before it lost control and slammed into the bridge pier.

Zhou Zhengbao, a maritime official, said further investigation would find out the exact cause of the collisions and who should take responsibility. Shipping traffic, which had been held up, was back to normal on the waters by 3:30pm, he said.

The Fengpu No.2 Bridge, planned as a new river span connecting Fengxian District to Pudong, is unfinished and only has some piers at present, Zhou said.

"The accident did not cause damage to the eastern pier and will not delay further bridge construction," Zhou said.

City maritime administration officials said they would arrange a salvage of the wreckage to prevent it from disturbing water traffic.


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