CHINA’s economy is continuing to grow at breakneck speed but - as these pictures show - the giant nation’s infrastructure is quite literally buckling under the strain.

At least three people were killed and five injured when this motorway bridge in Heilongjiang province in north east China collapsed today sending four huge trucks crashing 100ft to the ground below.

The tragedy comes after what is claimed to be the world’s largest ‘sofa chair’ was unveiled in Shanghai - showcasing the more positive side of China’s incredible economic growth.

The bridge collapse is one of a number of horrifying accidents on China’s expanding road and rail networks in recent years - leading to fears that safety is being sacrificed for the speed of construction. Four trucks crashed to the ground, crushing their occupants and sending their loads spilling across the ground.

The tragedy comes just ten months after the multimillion pound roadway was constructed and was one of two transport disasters to hit the province this week, with a train crash at a railway station on Thursday also injuring at least 24 people.

Xinhua news agency said it was at least the sixth major bridge collapse across the country since July last year - fuelling fears over the safety of China’s fast-expanding infrastructure.

But despite fears about its infrastructure, China continues to amaze the world with the sheer scale of its economic growth. And nothing could symbolise this expansion better than the world’s largest armchair, which has been put on display in a Shanghai department store.

The massive seat, which stands nearly 22ft tall and 25ft wide can be turned into a stage for performances at the weekend. The latest train collision occurred on Thursday evening at the Jiamusi railway station in Heilongjiang, according to Xinhua. A railway spokesman in the provincial capital said most of the injured were preparing to get off a train when the other train collided with it, causing them to fall.

Two US citizens were among the dead in December last year when a bullet train crashed off a bridge after leaving the Zhejiang provincial capital of Hangzhou. Most of the injuries were slight and five people were under medical observation. An investigation into the crash is now under way. –DM