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Cargo boats hit bridge, leave thousands without clean water
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A chain of accidents on a river knocks out water to 1,500 households in Yangzhou city of east China's Jiangsu Province, the city government said on Wednesday.

Two cargo boats attempted to cut each other off on the Sanyanghe River while going under a bridge, said Yao Qili, spokesman of Yangzhou city government.

When the boats collided, they hit the 100-meter long pedestrian bridge causing it to collapse. Debris crushed a water pipe as well as TV and phone lines underneath.

Two boatmen and an elderly man on the bridge were slightly injured in the accident. Yao said they were in stable condition and under observation at a hospital.

Both boats were destroyed.

The local health bureau sent bleaching powder to households to make water drinkable.

Staff are working to repair the water pipe and telecommunication lines, which are expected to be restored before midnight, said Yao.

The city government is investigating the accident.

(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2008)

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