Five people were injured and three missing after a bridge in Taihe county, Jiangxi province, collapsed on Sunday morning, China News Service reported.
The Tianhe bridge across the Gan River came down as it was being dismantled, and the injured and missing were believed to be construction workers, the county government said.
The search for the missing continued throughout the afternoon and the injured were sent to a local hospital for emergency treatment, the report said.
The bridge had been out of service for some time and barricades had been erected at both ends of the structure to prevent access by unauthorised personnel and vehicles.
A new bridge, which came into operation earlier this year, had been built next to the old structure.
Online commenters who said they were residents said the bridge was closed in 2013 after cracks appeared in the structure’s surface.
Some attributed the cracks to sand dredging in the river, which caused the bridge’s pillars to sink.
The cause of the collapse was under investigation, the county government said