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Water supply resumes after deadly ship-bridge collision in south China


 , Updated 13:40, 23-Feb-2024
The rescue team serves at the ship-bridge collision site, Guangzhou City, south China's Guangdong Province, February 22, 2024. /China Media Group
The rescue team serves at the ship-bridge collision site, Guangzhou City, south China's Guangdong Province, February 22, 2024. /China Media Group

The rescue team serves at the ship-bridge collision site, Guangzhou City, south China's Guangdong Province, February 22, 2024. /China Media Group

The water supply on Sanmin Island, which was affected by a fracture in a bridge that resulted in five deaths in Guangzhou City of south China's Guangdong Province, resumed on Friday morning, the Beijing News reported.

According to Wanqingsha Water Supply Business Office of Guangzhou Nansha Yuehai Water Co.,Ltd., a pipeline in the Nanzhong Highway Bridge had been set up to provide water for local residents at home.  

A sprinkler driver Wang Ping (pseudonym) who supplies water to residents at the Nanzhong Highway Bridge, confirmed that the temporary water supply project had been completed on Friday morning around 12 a.m., with a 20-cubic-meter bucket and a pipe temporarily connected with local residents' water pipelines.

A local villager Liu said that when he opened the tap in the morning he could get water from there." But the tap water was sometimes big and sometimes small." Another villager said that residents living on the third floor still could not get water, "but water supply is available for residents living on the first floor."

The Lixinsha Bridge is the only access point for the over 9,100 people on the nearby Sanmin Island. The water supply pipeline to the island was once damaged due to the accident. The local water supply bureau has sent water trucks to the island and launched an emergency plan to guarantee the water supply.

At the same time, two ferry steamers were put into service to help with the transportation of both residents and supplies. Local authorities have also begun building a temporary dock.

"Due to the accident, the water supply pipeline leading to Sanmin Island has been cut off. As of 9 a.m. this morning (February 22), we have organized 10 water trucks to provide water to residents on the island and speed up the repair of water supply facilities," said Ouyang Liubing, secretary-general with the management committee of Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone, in a press release on Thursday. 

"Further efforts have been made to ensure the supply of daily necessities, as we have sent mineral water, rice, oil, fruits and vegetables among other materials to the island in batches," Ouyang said.


A preliminary investigation has identified crew misoperation as the cause of the ship-bridge collision on Thursday morning, according to a press release.

Due to misoperation by the crew, at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, a container ship's hull first hit pier No. 18 of the Lixinsha Bridge in Nansha District, and consequently, the ship's bow hit pier No. 19, resulting in a crack in a part of the bridge, said Yin Qiang, deputy head of the Maritime Safety Administration of Guangzhou under the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration (MSA Guangdong).

"The MSA Guangdong has set up an accident investigation team to investigate and collect evidence, teaming up with public security departments to apprehend the person responsible for the accident," said Yin while addressing a press conference on Thursday.

Due to the collision, five people died, and two others were hospitalized. They were in stable condition as of Thursday afternoon. Five vehicles, including a motorbike, were involved in the accident. Two of them plunged into the river and the others fell onto the vessel, said Yin.

A total of 15 rescue vessels and 122 rescuers were dispatched for the search operation. As of Thursday afternoon, the two vehicles that had plunged into the river had been successfully retrieved, Yin added.

The seriously inclined pier No. 19 and relevant structures with a risk of instability will be dismantled to eliminate potential safety hazards, said Zou Xiaojiang, chief engineer of the transport bureau of Guangzhou.

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