BEIJING: A Chinese truck driver was fined 2.7 million yuan - 100 years'average income for city dwellers - and jailed for three years after hisoverloaded vehicle caused a bridge to collapse, reports said on Thursday.
Zhang Wenjun's sand-laden lorry weighed 160 tonnes when he tried to cross aconcrete bridge in Huairou on the outskirts of Beijing and the structure gave way, theofficial Xinhuanews agency reported.
The IntermediatePeople's Court in the capital imposed on Zhang a penalty equivalent to$440,000, Xinhua said, reducing his original fine of 15.6 million yuan leviedby a lower court.
According to official statistics, the average income for Chinese urbanresidents stood at 26,959 yuan in 2012.
Zhang's wife said the family depends solely on him and that he has a son,daughter and mother to support, adding that they cannot afford to pay the fine,the Beijing Times newspaper said.
The case has triggered wide controversy on the Chinese Internet, with manysuspicious that poor quality construction and maintenance could have beenresponsible for the accident in July 2011.
Problems with infrastructure often make headlines in Chinese newspapers, withcorruption regularly alleged to be a factor.
One poster on Sina Weibo,a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, said the sentence will be mocked bypeople for 10,000 thousand years .
新浪微博上的一个帖子写道 这将为世人所津津乐道1万年 。
Another added: I think the bridge is probably made of bean curd.