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President Hu Urges Utmost Rescue Efforts

Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday ordered for the utmost efforts in the search for those missing and the treatment of those injured in the deadly bridge collapse in central China's Hunan Province.

Hu, who is in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek on an official visit, urged authorities to immediately set up a panel to investigate into the cause of the accident and bring those responsible to book.

Measures must be taken to ensure lessons are learnt from the accident so that similar accident shall not happen again, he said.
Hua Jianmin, secretary of the State Council, China's cabinet, briefed Hunan officials on the instructions of President Hu Jintao and that of the Premier Wen Jiabao.

Currently, local medical staff is making all efforts to cure the injured. All the injured have received proper treatment and some of those severely injured have been in stable condition.

Departments concerned are checking the list of on-the-spot workers, cleaning up the accident venue, making all efforts to find the missing and reassuring the family relatives of the victims.

Investigation into the cause of the accident is already underway. An expert panel is making on-the-spot investigation. The investigation group formed by the State Council is launching investigation in every detail, including program design, public bidding, construction, management and construction supervision.

The death toll has risen to 36, with at least 23 still missing, rescuers reported on Wednesday.

The 328-meter-long, 42-meter-high Tuojiang River bridge in Fenghuang county, in western Hunan Province, collapsed on Monday afternoon when an estimated 123 workers were dismantling its steel scaffolding.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2007) 

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