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April 23, 2014

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Bridge collapse kills 7 in northern Vietnam

Updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 | 12:40 a.m.

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — At least seven mourners were killed and 37 others were injured when a suspension bridge broke as they were transporting a coffin to a graveyard in northern Vietnam, police said Monday.

Police officer Phung Quang Tuyen said cables on one side of the year-old bridge in Lai Chau province's Tam Duong district snapped, causing the group to fall about 20 meters (65 feet) onto rocks. He said 23 of the injuries were serious.

The coffin containing the body of a village official was thrown into the shallow stream, he said.

"It was a horrible scene," Tuyen said by telephone from the province. "People were screaming and crying."

An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, Tuyen said.

The online VnExpress newspaper quoted Nguyen Vuong Chien, administrator of the provincial traffic safety board, as saying vibrations from the funeral procession may have set off a resonance in the bridge, causing the cable to break.