BEIJING (AP) — A truck carrying fireworks ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations exploded today on a bridge in central China, killing at least 26 people as it sent vehicles plummeting dozens of yards to the ground, state media said.

The blast destroyed a section of the bridge outside the city of Sanmenxia. Emergency crews closed the highway at the accident site, said China National Radio, which reported the death toll of 26. The Xinhua News Agency reported four deaths but said search and rescue efforts were continuing.

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