TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The hundreds of fishing boats trapped inside the port of Nanfang’ao in Yilan County were able to head for the open sea Thursday (October 10) with the removal of the arch of the bridge that collapsed on October 1 and killed six foreign workers.
The task of removing the 320-ton arch took about 24 hours and was finished by 10 a.m. on Thursday, the CNA reported.
The disaster caused the death of three Filipino and three Indonesian fishermen on ships under the bridge, with two people were gravely injured and eight receiving minor injuries. Reports since then have indicated that previous inspections of the Nanfang’ao Bridge and many other bridges across the country have been infrequent and superficial.
The arch will be temporarily housed at the harbor of Su’ao to allow investigators to continue searching for the cause of the collapse, which followed a typhoon and local earthquake and happened as a tanker truck was crossing the bridge.
Thursday’s operation suffered a two-hour delay as the ship used to tow away the arch threatened to tip, reports said. Inspectors must still decide how to remove the parts of the bridge which fell under the water level and present an estimate of how long that task will take.
Building a new bridge at Nanfang’ao will cost NT$520 million (US$16.8 million), the Ministry of Transportation said Tuesday (October 8).