Lorry carrying fireworks for Chinese New Year celebrations explodes, killing 26


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The Independent Online

A lorry carrying fireworks before the Chinese New Year celebrations exploded on a highway bridge today, killing at least 26 people as it sent vehicles plummeting to the ground.

The blast destroyed a section of the bridge outside the city of Sanmenxia.

Emergency crews closed the highway at the accident site, said China National Radio, which reported the death toll. The Xinhua News Agency reported four deaths but said search and rescue efforts were continuing.

Photos posted on the popular news site Sina.com by Chinese netizens showed a stretch of elevated highway gone, with a truck perched precariously at the broken edge.

Other photos showed wrecked vehicles below and blackened chunks of scattered debris.