3 rescued in bridge collapse amid China flooding

BEIJING (AP) — Rescuers in mountainous western China pulled three people from a raging river following a bridge collapse Tuesday amid heavy flooding that has forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

Three cars and a delivery van fell into the torrent when the nearly 50-year-old Qinglian bridge broke apart just before noon in the city of Jiangyou in the western province of Sichuan, the local government said in a statement posted on its official website. It said an earlier report that a pair of passenger buses had plunged into the river was incorrect.

The two-lane bridge was built in 1967 and a replacement span is under construction. China has been pouring resources into building infrastructure, but many older bridges and dams are of poor quality and urgently need repairs or replacement.

China’s Civil Affairs Ministry announced Tuesday that flooding in Sichuan since Sunday has affected an area that is home to 360,000 people, damaging or destroying 300 homes, and forcing 6,100 to evacuate.

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