Investigators probing a fatal bus accident that killed 14 people and injured eight in Jingzhou City in Hubei Province have blamed substandard guardrails on the bridge for the tragedy.
A double-decker coach carrying 22 people on the Jingzhou Yangtze River Bridge veered off the bridge on March 12 to avoid a motorcyclist driving against the traffic.
The bus rammed through the guardrail and crashed, killing 14 passengers.
An initial investigation found poorly-constructed guardrails were as fragile as "paper," which should have been able to resist the impact, said Ying Chaoyang, an investigating officer with the Ministry of Public Security.
Ying said the guardrails should have been rooted deep into the bridge to prevent accidents. Three of the four steel reinforcement bars, linking the guardrails and the bridge, were not soldered or fixed tightly. Some of the bars were not even inserted into the bridge deck in clear violation of safety standards, he said.
Even screws in the guardrails were left loose.
Ying said the initial investigation also showed that some of the bars had cracked even before the accident and had not been repaired. The bridge also did not follow proper safety design specification.
The 4397.5-meter-long bridge was opened to the public on October 1, 2002.
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