A 100-meter stretch of the Yangtze River embankment in east China's Anhui province collapsed on Saturday, an official with the local waterway administration said.
The accident occurred early on Saturday in the marshlands near the river outside the city of Wuhu and resulted in more than 6,000 square meters of land falling into the river.
About ten warehouses belonging to a shipyard, a few cranes and a barge fell in the water. No casualties were reported but an elderly couple was rescued from the barge before it toppled into the river.
Hu Guangjin, an official with the Wuhu Yangtze River Waterway Administration, said the collapsed area was mainly marshland and the top embankment of the Yangtze River dyke, and would not pose a threat to the main embankment.
"Water from the upper reaches of the river formed a vortex here, which exerted a strong force against the marshland and the embankment. This may have been the reason for the collapse," Hu said.
However, other people believe the construction of a new berth in the nearby Jiangdong Shipyard had loosened the foundations of the dyke and caused the collapse.
On Sunday morning, earth was still pouring into the river. All production has been suspended and repair work is underway.
(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2007)