Harbin Bridge Collapse: Poor Construction or Overloaded Trucks?

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge.

From NetEase:

Bridge opened less than one year collapses causing 3 deaths and 5 injured

August 24th around 5:30 in the morning, a collapse occurred along a stretch of the Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge, with four large cargo trucks falling with it, and has caused 3 fatalities and 5 injured at present. According to reports, Yangmingtan was a major construction project of the province and city, breaking ground on 2009 December 5th, and completed and opened to traffic on 20122 November 6th, with an estimated investment of 1.882 billion yuan and being Harbin city’s first suspension bridge.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

On Youku:

Harbin Yangmingtan Elevated Road Suddenly Collapses Killing 3 Injuring 6

This morning around 5:30, a collapse occurred along a stretch of the Harbin Yangmingtan Elevated Road and has caused 3 fatalities and 6 injured at present.

Comments from Youku:


Tofu drugs [poor construction quality]. To live in China, these strange things are no longer strange. For this kind of accident, I believe most people’s first reaction is to feel sorry for the dead, and all that’s left is numbness/indifference. Sad.


The reason why our country’s products ave such difficulty establishing themselves international, such a tragedy.


The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge built in the 50s hasn’t collapsed, the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge also hasn’t collapsed, even the 1400-something-year-old Zhaozhou Bridge is still standing. The technology and funding used by these bridges cannot even begin to compare to the present day, so why is it that a bridge constructed with today’s high technology has collapsed in less than a year? In response to this, the relevant government departments have begun and investigation, with experts saying: The reason is because the trucks were overloaded. Also, the rhythm of the trucks were too similar, therefore the bridge experienced resonance. There are examples in history for this, so everyone shouldn’t create rumors everywhere, and trust that our quality can be guaranteed.


Three vehicles on one pillar of the bridge. The media’s first response: According to the current determination of the experts, the vehicles were severely overloaded. Haha, how many vehicles can this bridge support at one time? Just 6 and it collapses! What a sturdy bridge. Actually, it isn’t just Harbin that has this kind of recurring problem. It’s just that other places haven’t had three overloaded vehicles passing simultaneously at one time that’s all.


The bridge pillar wasn’t broken, the bridge deck wasn’t broken apart, so where is the problem with the bridge??? It’s clearly that the three vehicles driving on one side flipped/weighed down the bridge. If you don’t understand it, go home and play with some building blocks and then you’ll understand.

车灬冫迷: (responding to above)

So according to you, the vehicles need to be arranged to cross the bridge, to cater to the bridge’s design?


Fuck, what other reason is there. Experts, professors, all saying nothing/ It’s simply fucking tofu dregs construction!!!


For this, after China’s precedents, it will ultimately be determined that there was nothing wrong with the construction and that it was merely overloaded! 搞笑


I just so happen to work in civil engineering. Looking at the area where the bridge fractured in the video, you can see that the steel reinforcing bar and cement at where the bridge deck and the bridge pillars are extremely substandard! I can responsibly say this bridge definitely had construction quality problems!!! The construction cost of this bridge could not have exceeded 1 billion! It was subcontracted at least 4-5 times!


The cause of This accident is probably because of the cargo trucks traveling along only one side. Even if it is this kind of reason, it has nothing to do with the cargo trucks, because the bridge designer should’ve thought of this, and must think of this.


We must trust the quality in China, so this accident obviously was because the cargo trucks were overloaded.


I’m confused, the Administration of Safety Inspection has already indicated that there definitely must’ve been a problem, so how come there are still people saying the [construction] quality had passed/been deemed standard and that it was because of overloading? These people are unbelievable. How many cargo trucks aren’t overloaded throughout the country? How many collapsed bridges have you seen? Can you still say this [bridge’s construction] is normal? Reinforced concrete collapsing from bearing the vertical weight of just four trucks? Just four trucks and its overloaded? Each truck was just 40-50 tons, and even if the four trucks were overloaded it wouldn’t be over 200 tons but the bridge can’t handle even that?

Comments from NetEase:

牛仔哥0 [网易陕西省延安市网友]:

This [the cause of this collapse] doesn’t even need to be investigated, the vehicles carrying the rocks were too heavy.

古乐龙乒乓 [网易北京市手机网友]: (responding to above)

Just three overloaded trucks can’t even pass? It’s obviously a [construction] quality problem. It was built just last year. Corruption, skimping on the work and materials.

网易浙江省台州市网友: (also responding to 牛仔哥0)

LD are thinking exactly the same thing you’re saying.

act62 [网易广东省潮州市网友]: (also responding to 牛仔哥0)

Severe overloading in China is completely not considered a crime by netizens, but in would definitely be a crime in the United States!

candtrae [网易加拿大网友]:

This Yangmingtan Bridge is a suspension bridge just like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco of the United States, but the Golden Gate Bridge has already stood for over 70 years without any problems whatsoever, whereas this Yangmingtan Bridge has collapsed in under a year. In this kind of country where someone walking on the street can be burned to death, drowned, or fall to their deaths in a deep hole, where cargo trucks driving on a bridge can suddenly vanish, it truly isn’t easy for the ordinary common people to survive.

一把手的面子 [网易河北省邢台市网友]:

Just like Nanchang, where the steel reinforcing bars in the concrete are exchanged with bamboo and called a technical innovation. In short, when you try to talk reason/principles with them, they pretend to be idiots.


I bet these four vehicles will be fined over 10 million [RMB]!

皮皮空 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]:

The one thing we can be certain of is: The cargo trucks were again overloaded.


Sitting here waiting for the experts to come out and explain.

西臣电工 [网易浙江省嘉兴市网友]:

For money, morality and ethics can be excluded.

种柳柳江边 [网易广西柳州市网友]:

This driver is truly mentally retarded. The weight of this one semi-trailer filled with rocks can exceed 100 tons, and the three vehicles all following so closely to travel the bridge, isn’t this simply asking for trouble? Perhaps the toll and the fuel costs are all very expensive, but the cargo truck driver isn’t just pursuing profit, what they’re after is trying to recoup the cost of the truck in two to three years, or even within one year. A lot of drivers can make enough money with one truck to buy several trucks, so that’s why they try to load as much as they can. Every time I see several of these trucks crossing a bridge together, I get scared and try to stay further away from them.

起个名字好听点的 [网易广东省中山市网友]:

Fuck, who knows how much taxpayer money has been wasted and how many lives have been lost with these tofu dregs construction projects [poorly-built construction projects].

chenjin1528 [网易四川省泸州市手机网友]:

Completely the fault of the cargo trucks! So say the experts.

偶尔的发嗲 [网易云南省昆明市手机网友]:

Carrying that much and all driving on the outside lane.

At time of translation, Chinese authorities said overladen trucks traveling closely on one side of the bridge were a factor but they were also still investigating if there were construction or design problems.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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