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Five bodies found after bridge collapses in Taiwan

Six people were reported missing after a burning oil tanker fell on to fishing boats in Nanfangao.

Nanfangao Bridge which collapsed in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan (Central News Agency/AP)
Nanfangao Bridge which collapsed in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan (Central News Agency/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Authorities have recovered five bodies and are looking for one more still missing after three fishing boats were struck when a bridge collapsed in Taiwan.

The National Fire Agency identified two of the victims as Indonesian and another as Filipino. The other two have not been identified.

Taiwan’s military deployed a floating platform to help workers remove debris and try to extract two of the boats from under collapsed sections of the bridge.

All the victims are believed to be fishing boat workers from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Rescuers work near the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao (AP)

The 140-metre-long arched bridge collapsed on Tuesday into a bay on Taiwan’s east coast, about 40 miles southeast of Taipei, the capital.

A typhoon swept by the island earlier, but the weather was sunny when the bridge collapsed and it was not clear if the storm was a factor.

Ten people were taken to hospitals with injuries, including the Taiwanese driver of an oil tanker that fell off the bridge.

The other nine are Filipino and Indonesian fishermen, with one, an Indonesian, in serious condition, Taiwan’s official Central News Agency said.

Many Filipinos and Indonesians work on fishing boats registered in Taiwan, where the pay is better than in their home countries.

The 18-metre-high high bridge in Nanfangao, a Pacific coast fishing port, opened in 1998 and replaced a lower span that prevented large fishing vessels from passing underneath.

The company that designed the bridge, MAA Consultants, says it is the only single-span arch bridge in Taiwan supported by cables and the second single arch-cable steel bridge in the world.



From Belfast Telegraph