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China: Authorities probe alleged faulty construction of railway bridge

The multibillion yuan railway was reportedly constructed by a fake company that used gravel – not concrete – for the bridge foundations.

In this file photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, passengers queue in line to buy train tickets at Shenyang North Railway Station in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning province.
In this file photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, passengers queue in line to buy train tickets at Shenyang North Railway Station in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning province.
Image: Zhang Wenkui/AP/Press Association Images

AUTHORITIES IN CHINA are investigating claims that a multibillion-yuan railway bridge project in the northeast of the country poses massive safety concerns after being built by illegal contractors.

The 74-kilometre railway project, which was intended to link Jingyu County with Songjianghe County in Jilin Province, was subcontracted to a bogus company and built by workers with no background in construction, according to local media reports.

China Daily reports that the 2.3 billion yuan (€260 million) railway project was subcontracted in July 2010 to a fake company which used gravel instead of concrete when building the bridge pier foundations.

The contractor, Lu Tianbo, has reportedly admitted that his workers had next to no experience in bridge-building.

Using gravel to reinforce the bridge piers instead of cement means that they would likely warp – or even collapse – in the future, a researcher with the Bridge Science Research Institute told Xinhua News Agency.

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