550 people help to clear rubble after 200m stretch of a flyover in Hunan buries road below

At least six people have been killed and a further 17 hospitalised after a flyover collapsed in the central Chinese province of Hunan.

A 200m stretch of the bridge in Zhuzhou city buckled just after 4pm yesterday, burying the road below and affecting 27 passing vehicles, according to Chinese state press.

A 550-strong rescue team is using more than 30 digging machines to search for survivors but reports say detector signals suggest there is no sign of life under the debris.

The local authorities said police had detained people in connection with the accident and a provincial government investigation is underway.

The bridge, which has been in use since 1995, had been closed for demolition since 5 May. Workers had exploded part of the viaduct and planned to destroy the collapsed section on Wednesday.