Five dead, three fishing boats seriously damaged after bridge collapses in northeastern Taiwan

Photo: Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense

Five people are confirmed dead while another individual has gone missing after a bridge fell onto a cluster of fishing vessels in the northeastern Taiwanese coastal city of Suao on Tuesday, October 1.

The incident occurred on the morning (local time) of Tuesday when one of the cables on the centre section of the Nanfangao Bridge’s steel arch suddenly snapped, sending the entire 140-metre-long single-span structure crashing down on and seriously damaging three fishing vessels that were moored underneath.

Search and rescue (SAR) operations commenced within hours of the incident and are still ongoing.

The Taiwan National Fire Agency has reported that five bodies have been recovered from the water as of 07:00 UTC on Wednesday, October 2. A sixth victim remains unaccounted for.

The five confirmed fatalities and the sole missing individual have been identified as Filipino and Indonesian nationals, all of whom had been working as fishermen on the boats that were damaged when the bridge collapsed.

Eight fishermen and four other people suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the mishap and were brought to hospital.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen has ordered the formation of a special task force to investigate the incident.

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