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China bridge collapse death toll at 37

ZHENGZHOU, China, July 27 (UPI) -- The death toll from a weekend bridge collapse in central China has reach 37 with 29 people still missing, officials said Tuesday night.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported three tourists were among those killed when the Yihe River Bridge fell about 5 p.m. Saturday.

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Witnesses said there were about 100 people on the more than 600-foot-long, nearly 23-year-old span when it collapsed, with each end falling into the river first before the rest followed within minutes.

Thousands of people were still combing the river and its banks in hopes of finding survivors, Xinhua said.

"The bridge was crowded with people who had come to watch flood torrents when it collapsed," one survivor, Li Xianghong told a local newspaper, Dahe Daily. "They were villagers and tourists from a nearby nursing home.

"More than 10 people fell with me, including my nephew, at the southern end of the bridge which collapsed first. For a moment, the river was full of struggling people."

He said he was caught by a tree branch and rescued by other villagers.

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