Vietnam bridge collapse kills at least 20 workers

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HANOI, Sep 26 (Reuters) At least 20 workers were killed and 50 were injured or missing after a bridge they were building in Vietnam's southern city of Can Tho collapsed today, state media said.

The online VnExpress (www.vnexpress.net) newspaper quoted officials in Can Tho as saying scaffolding at some sections of the bridge over Hau river collapsed at about 0700 hrs IST when workers started their shift.

''We heard a loud explosion and then a big cloud of dust and screams from workers stuck in the rubble,'' the newspaper quoted a bridge engineer at the site as saying.

Officials in Can Tho said about 250 engineers and workers from three Japanese contractors -- Taisei, Kazima and NipponSteel -- were on the construction site at the time of the accident.

At least 40 of them had been brought to the Can Tho hospital.

It is unclear if any Japanese nationals were among the victims.

Hau river is one of the nine tributaries of the Mekong river when it enters southern Vietnam from Cambodia.

REUTERS SG BD1040

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