May 26, 2024

BEIJING (AP) — A section of a highway collapsed early Wednesday in southern China leaving at least 19 people dead, local officials said, after the area had experienced heavy rain in recent days.

Eighteen cars fell down a slope after a 17.9-meter- (58.7-foot) -long section of the highway collapsed, according to a statement from authorities in Meizhou city in Guangdong province. The incident occurred around 2 a.m.

Witnesses told local media they heard a loud noise and saw a hole open up several meters wide behind them after driving past the section of the road just before it collapsed.

Video and photos in local media showed smoke and fire at the scene, with highway rails slanting downward into the flames. Blackened cars could also be seen on the slope leading down from the highway.

Rescue workers have taken 30 people to the hospital, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

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