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Drone shot of the damaged bridge in southern China's Guangdong province

Photo: Lu Hanxin / XinHua / dpa

A cargo ship rammed a bridge busy with cars in southern China, causing part of it to collapse.

At least two people died as a result of the accident and three are still missing, local authorities said on the Weibo online platform.

One sailor suffered minor injuries.

The freighter crashed into the traffic bridge early in the morning (local time) southeast of the metropolis of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that the ship "came into contact" with the bridge's pillars, causing the roadway to collapse.

Pictures showed a bus in the cargo hold of the freighter

According to preliminary investigations, two vehicles fell into the water and three others fell onto the ship.

Footage from the scene of the accident showed a bus that had fallen into the cargo hold of the freighter.

According to Chinese media reports, only the driver was on board the bus.

The line operator was unable to contact him after the accident.

According to the authorities, there was initially no reliable information about the cause of the accident.

Chinese state television showed footage from the scene of the accident, showing the freighter wedged between two bridge pillars.

There was a large gap in the two-lane bridge above.

The rescue workers who rushed to the scene were supported by divers who searched for the missing people at the scene of the accident.