This sounds too crazy to believe..

But the Chinese state media is reporting that they had a major stretch of an elevated highway collapse from a fireworks explosion. Now I understand the Chinese likely build this thing with sub par materials, but I have a hard time picturing a truck full of fireworks of any kind doing this sort of damage to a structure that is supposed to support real heavy weights. And you have to wonder when the article points out that…

State TV broadcaster CCTV said eight people were confirmed dead and 11 injured after seven vehicles were recovered from the wreckage. The death toll appeared likely to rise: The official Xinhua News Agency said the collapse smashed and buried at least 25 vehicles.

Earlier reports by China National Radio and some other outlets of 26 people killed were later removed from websites, without explanation.

An 80-meter (260-foot) stretch of a major east-west highway collapsed in Mianchi county in Henan province. It scattered blackened chunks of debris and shattered the windows of a nearby truck stop.

Now I know the Chinese are not very safety conscious, and the article even mentions that, but I have a horrible time accepting that a major piece of a highway collapses when a firework truck goes kaboom out in the open. The mechanics and physics of this event leave me wondering WTF went on. That must have been some serious haul of some serious explosives, or some of the shoddiest construction possible to cause such a collapse. Maybe it was both. Or maybe….


Cheesey movie, but I wonder if there was something else that happened here and it we are getting told some bull.

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  1. Hal_10000

    I don’t think it’s bull. They have a long history of rushing through projects. Their much ballyhooed light rail has had numerous accidents.

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  2. stogy

    There’s a big organized crime operation going on in countries with lax building regulations where sub-par or out of date concrete is bought and sold at full market prices. Someone high up in the party has probably done quite well out of this.

    One of his political underlings (or even better, enemies) will probably take the fall for this too. Right around the middle of next week.

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  3. Hal_10000

    Lee used to write about this a lot: the huge amount of corruption in China and the tendency of the government to find a scapegoat after one of these debacles (such as the 2008 earthquake). They shoot him and then go about business as usual.

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  4. stogy

    They shoot him and then go about business as usual.

    They send the family a bill for the execution costs as well. Including the cost of bullets.

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  5. Mississippi Yankee

    Having had a considerable amount of both training and experience with explosives during my military years I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that a truck full of fireworks DID NOT take out a 260 foot section of a concrete bridge. It doesn’t matter if the concrete was sub-standard of for that matter if the bridge was made of wood.

    Fireworks are designed to take the path of least resistance. Any explosion would naturally blow up or out but not through a solid object when other options are available. There certainly was explosives involved but fireworks are on the bottom rung of that ladder. Fireworks don’t all go off at once. They are packaged tight for the ‘noise factor’ not for the concussive power.

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    there is no way in hell mere fireworks did this,
    hell the overpresure wave of the detonation, would be drawn out and uneven, would be far less that the constant pressures and vibrations from heavy traffic.
    Teh truck might have been carrying military grade explosives… , someone is covering their ass.

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  7. davidst

    They said fireworks, but they didn’t necessarily mean the sort that people buy and shoot in their driveway. The kind of fireworks shot at sporting events and other large spectacles pack a hell of a lot more punch than ordinary fireworks. Is it enough to bring down concrete? I don’t know.

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