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5 men lauded for heroic actions following bridge fracture in Guangzhou | Updated: 2024-02-28 15:24
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Rescue work is carried out on Thursday after a ship hit the pier of the Lixinsha Bridge in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, causing a portion of the bridge to break off. [Photo by Zheng Erqi/China Daily]

Five ordinary men in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, who successfully helped stop people driving through a partially broken bridge, have been lauded for their heroic acts.

At around 5:30 am on Thursday, a container ship hit the pier of the Lixinsha Bridge in Nansha district in Guangzhou, causing the bridge to fracture, and leaving five people dead. The bridge, spanning the Hongqili Waterway, is the main passage connecting the Nansha Economic Development Zone with Sanmin Island. The island is home to more than 9,000 residents, who are highly dependent on the bridge to travel and transport agricultural produce.

Huang Fulin [Photo/CCTV News]

Huang Fulin, a local farmer, was the first to find out about the accident when he was riding a motorcycle to the opposite side of the bridge on Thursday morning. "The visibility was clear that day. However, when I was about 20 meters away from the broken bridge, I saw a thick fog, and it was very dark around. I felt very nervous and stopped driving," Huang recalled.

After he found the bridge fracture, Huang, who was going to report the accident to the nearby police post, saw a truck coming his way. At that very moment, he continuously flashed his lights and shouted loudly "Stop! It's dangerous." With his efforts, Huang finally stopped the truck.

Wang Guoliang [Photo/CCTV News]

The truck driver, Wang Guoliang, is a retired veteran. He called the police at once and stopped two villagers riding bicycles from Sanming Island. He also reversed his truck back and parked it horizontally at the T-junction to the bridge. "My truck is about 15 meters long. By blocking the road with the truck at the T-junction, the only route to Sanmin Island, the vehicles wouldn't be able to get onto the bridge," Wang said.

Meanwhile, Huang rushed to the nearest police post and reported the accident to the on-duty officers, Guo Zhenzhao and Huang Biwei. Guo and Huang quickly arrived at the scene and placed traffic cones on the road. They also alerted a driver, Tang Qunhui, who was about to cross the bridge by motorcycle from the opposite side.

Before more police were assigned to the scene, Tang, on the other side of the bridge, intercepted several vehicles that were about to cross the bridge. At around 5:48 am, Tang posted a video of the damaged bridge on his WeChat Moments, to warn others about the dangerous situation. One of his friends saw the post and immediately called his family and friends who usually get up early (to cross the bridge).

According to the official website of the city's Nansha district government, the five men will be awarded with the title of individuals who act bravely in an emergency.

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