Six vehicles have been reported missing among the 130 recorded as going over the Jiujiang Bridge in South China's Guangdong Province before it collapsed around 5am today.
About 200 meters of the bridge, linking the Jiujiang Town in Foshan and Heshan City, collapsed after a sand boat lost its way in thick fog and rammed one of the bridge's piers.
A total of 130 vehicles were passing over the bridge around 5am, when the accident happened, according to a record kept in the bridge's toll station. Local police have contacted most of the drivers but failed to find the drivers of six vehicles, the report said.
Three out of the six vehicles were from Foshan and another three were from Heshan.
Some witnesses said they saw vehicles falling into the river and someone even said they witnessed a big passenger bus falling, the report said.
Local authorities sent frogmen and ships to salvage any missing vehicles, but the rushing current has stopped frogmen from diving into the river.
Rescuers saved all 10 crew members on the ship which sank after hitting the bridge. Two men, about 40 years old, were slightly injured in the accident.
All the crew members have left a local hospital and are helping a police investigation.
Traffic police have sealed off the bridge and diverted traffic to a neighboring highway.
The 1,600-meter bridge was built in 1988 and a check in 2005 showed it was safe, the report said.
The bridge will take at least half a year to be rebuilt, an official with the provincial highway company said.