- (Photo: YouTube/RT Screen Shot)
At least 26 people have died after a fireworks truck exploded in China on Friday as the nation prepares to celebrate Chinese New Year in the coming weeks.
The fireworks truck explosion was so large that the blast even destroyed part of an elevated highway, sending numerous vehicles falling about 30 meters to the ground below, according to local news reports.
The massive explosion is said to have destroyed a stretch of highway measuring 80 meters long, and even shattered windows of constructions near the blast.
The tragic accident took place just outside the city of Sanmenxia in Henan province, and forced emergency workers to close down the busy highway completely. It was later confirmed that at least 26 people had died in the explosion.
Photos of the wreckage have been posted on social media sites and show a truck hanging near the edge of an elevated highway with a large chunk of the road gone. There is also extensive amounts of debris seen from the blast.
It was also reported in some areas that up to 25 vehicles fell from the elevated highway to the road beneath. At the time that 26 deaths were reported, only 6 of the vehicles were said to have been recovered, sparking some to suggest the death count could increase.
It is still unclear what caused the explosion, however, eye witnesses have told Chinese media that they saw the truck suddenly explode, with the blast so large that "about 10" vehicles around the fireworks truck were sent flying in the air off the elevated highway.
The Yichang Bridge is a section of a busy multi-lane highway in central China.
Here is a video of the wreckage in the aftermath of the massive blast on Friday as a fireworks truck exploded on a highway in China, killing 26 people: