Taiwan's collapsed bridge: 5 bodies found

These images taken from a video show the bridge collapsing in Nanfangao in Suao township on Taiwan's east coast on Tuesday. PHOTOS: REUTERS
These images taken from a video show the bridge collapsing in Nanfangao in Suao township on Taiwan's east coast on Tuesday. PHOTOS: REUTERS
These images taken from a video show the bridge collapsing in Nanfangao in Suao township on Taiwan's east coast on Tuesday. PHOTOS: REUTERS
These images taken from a video show the bridge collapsing in Nanfangao in Suao township on Taiwan's east coast on Tuesday. PHOTOS: REUTERS

TAIPEI • Five bodies have been recovered from under a collapsed bridge in Taiwan, rescuers said yesterday as the search continued for the last person missing after the structure smashed onto fishing boats moored underneath.

Taiwan's National Fire Agency said the victims were fishing workers from Indonesia and the Philippines, whose bodies were found in waters near two damaged boats late on Tuesday and earlier yesterday.

"The search-and-rescue mission continues," Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung told reporters, adding that evidence was being collected for an investigation.

The Philippines Labour Ministry confirmed that two of its nationals were killed while one remained missing and five others were injured in the incident. It pledged assistance to the affected workers and their families.

Dramatic CCTV footage captured the moment the 140m-long single-arch bridge came crashing down early on Tuesday morning in Nanfangao on Taiwan's east coast.

In the video, a vertical cable at the centre of the bridge's steel arch suddenly snaps. The road then collapses into the water, crashing down on three fishing boats as a petrol tanker, which nearly makes it across, also plunges into the water.

Twelve people were injured in the incident, including six Filipino and three Indonesian fishing workers, the Taiwanese driver of the petrol tanker, and two coastguard personnel.

The petrol tanker burst into flames at some point after it hit the water, sending a thick plume of black smoke into the air.

The local landmark was completed in 1998 and spanned a small fishing port. It was featured in a number of TV dramas and commercials.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2019, with the headline Taiwan's collapsed bridge: 5 bodies found. Subscribe