Update: Bridge collapses in NE Taiwan, 6 dead, 12 injured

Suspension bridge suddenly collapses in Taiwan's Yilan, killing 6, injuring 12

(Photos from Facebook group 宜蘭知識+)

(Photos from Facebook group 宜蘭知識+)

Update: 10/03 1:00 p.m.

The body of a sixth missing foreign migrant fisherman was recovered at 11 a.m. on Thursday (Oct. 3), 48 hours after the suspension bridge crushed the three fishing boats they were aboard. The discovery of the deceased Philippine national brings the final death toll of the disaster to six, including three Filipinos and three Indonesians.

A total of 12 people have been sent to nearby hospitals since the disaster took place, six with serious injuries and four with minor injuries, in addition to two Coast Guard officers who were hurt during rescue operations.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Su'ao District Fisheries Association announced today (Oct. 1) that the Nanfang'ao Bridge has collapsed, injuring over 20 people.

At around 9:30 a.m. this morning, the bridge suddenly gave way, injuring more than 20 people, reported UDN. A tank truck was on the bridge when it collapsed, and it ignited after falling into the waterway, spewing smoke into the air.

Video shows the tank truck having almost successfully crossed the bridge when it caved in, and at least three fishing vessels appear to have been crushed beneath. At least nine people from two fishing boats fell overboard, and rescue crews are searching for them, reported CNA.

The Yilan County Fire Bureau says that 10 fishermen have been rescued, six have suffered serious injuries, and four have sustained minor injuries, according to UDN. Su'ao Township Mayor Lee Ming-che (李明哲) told the media that six fishermen are still believed to be trapped under the bridge.

According to the Central Emergency Operation Center, with the exception of the truck driver, who is Taiwanese, the rest of the 10 hospitalized and six missing are foreign migrant fishery workers. Thus far, a total of 214 first responders, 32 disaster rescue vehicles, 14 ambulances, and 11 boats have been dispatched to the scene, reported TVBS.

Yilan had been buffeted by heavy rain and pounding winds from Typhoon Mitag on Monday (Sept. 30), while a magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck at 1:54 a.m. this morning, registering an intensity level of 4 in Yilan County. Officials have not yet indicated whether either was a factor in its collapse and the cause of the disaster is under investigation.

The bridge, which spanned the Nanfang'ao Fishing Port, was completed in 1998 and is the only steel single-arch bridge in Taiwan, the first bifurcated single-arch bridge in Asia, and one of only two in the world. The bridge was 140 meters in length and 15 meters in width.

Video showing moment bridge collapses:

(CNA photo)

(CNA photo)

(CNA photo)

(CNA photo)