“Tofu” Bridge Collapses in Harbin

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At 9.6 miles long, it is one of the longest bridges in China. Or at least, it was, until a 330-foot long section collapsed earlier today, dropping 100 feet to the ground, killing three and injuring five others, according to state-run CCTV.

The Yangmingtan Bridge in the city of Harbin was opened only 9 months ago. Chinese officials say it wasn’t the bridge’s fault, but that the trucks on the bridge were too heavy, reports the New York Times.

Netizens are mocking the official response, with one going by the name of, “just another round” (還是一回) joking, “with heavy snowfall in winter I won’t dare to travel on bridges. I’m scared they’ll collapse.”

This is just the latest in an ongoing national debate over the quality of rapid construction projects that were meant as a show of national prestige, but ended in disaster. On July 23rd of last year, another product of the rapid construction fever, China’s network of high-speed rails, came under fire when two trains collided in Wenzhou, killing 40 and injuring almost 200. Many now refer to these construction projects as “tofu construction.”

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