At least 24 killed in highway collapse in southern China

At least 24 people were killed when a section of a highway in southern China collapsed early on Wednesday, according to state media.

Eighteen cars fell down a slope after a 59ft (18m) section of the Meizhou-Dabu Expressway collapsed, according to authorities in Meizhou city in Guangdong province.

The incident happened at around 2am.

Parts of Guangdong province have seen record rainfall and flooding in the past two weeks, as well as hail.

Some villages in Meizhou flooded in early April, and the city has seen heavy rain in recent days.

Witnesses told local media they heard a loud noise and saw a large hole open up behind them after driving past the section of the road just before it collapsed.

Video and photos in local media showed smoke and fire at the scene, with highway rails slanting downwards into the flames.

A pile of blackened cars could also be seen on the slope leading down from the carriageway.

The ground beneath the highway appeared to have caved in, along with the section of the road that had broken off.

Rescue workers took 30 people to the hospital, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

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