Seven killed in Dubai bridge collapse

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DUBAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) At least seven people were killed and about 15 injured today when a crane hit a half-built Dubai bridge, causing it to collapse in an area near luxury hotels and high-rises in the Gulf tourism hub, officials said.

''According to initial reports, seven are dead and about 15 are injured,'' said deputy police chief Jamal al-Marri.

The collapse appeared to be the result of a construction problem, he told Reuters by telephone.

About 40 construction workers were on top of the bridge when a crane hit a segment of the structure, bringing it down, policemen and rescue workers at the site said.

A Reuters witness saw three bodies being pulled out and taken away in police vehicles. ''They had orange overalls and were covered as they were carried on stretchers,'' she said.

Nine workers were badly injured and rushed to a government hospital, a police officer at the site said.

Most workers in the emirate, witnessing a massive construction boom, hail from the Indian subcontinent.

Two workers were killed and about 60 injured in January when a fire broke out in a tower block under construction in Dubai, the trading and tourism hub of the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai, one of fastest-growing cities in the world, is home to the world's tallest building and is building the world's largest theme park.

Reuters NY DB2329

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