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Death toll from highway collapse in China rises to 48

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Credit: Weibo

The death toll from a landslide which caused a section of highway to collapse in southern China has risen to 48, according to local officials. The death toll is expected to rise as several other people are also feared dead.

The incident happened at 2:10 a.m. on Wednesday when a section of the Meizhou-Dabu Expressway slid down a hill in Guangdong province, about 1,725 kilometers (1,070 miles) south of Beijing, after days of heavy rain.

In an update on Thursday afternoon, authorities in Meizhou said 48 bodies had been recovered from 23 vehicles. They also found remains belonging to three other people whose DNA is being tested for confirmation.

Wednesday’s sudden landslide followed days of heavy rain in the area.

A loud noise was heard when the section of nearly 18 meters (59 feet) of highway gave in, causing nearly two dozen vehicles to fall down the hill. Some of them are believed to have driven into the hole at high speed as the accident happened at night.

A large fire broke out at the scene, destroying at least seven vehicles, but no hazardous materials or large vehicles were involved. Thirty victims were rescued and taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Credit: Weibo

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