Filipino, Indonesian fishermen injured in bridge collapse in Taiwan

(Taiwan News) — Filipino and Indonesian migrant fishery workers, as well as a Taiwanese truck driver, were among the 20 people injured when a landmark bridge in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan county collapsed on Tuesday (Oct. 1).

At around 9:30 a.m. this morning, the Nanfang’ao Bridge in Yilan’s Su’ao Township suddenly gave way, injuring more than 20 people, reported UDN. An oil tank truck was on the bridge when it collapsed and ignited after falling into the waterway, spewing smoke into the air.

As it fell, the bridge crushed three fishing boats beneath it, injuring and trapping a number of migrant fishermen on board the vessels. The Yilan County Fire Bureau says 10 people have been sent to nearby hospitals, including six who suffered serious injuries and four who sustained minor injuries, according to UDN.

(CNA photo)

As of 1 p.m., the Ministry of the Interior’s National Fire Agency said that of the 10 requiring hospitalization, six were Filipinos, three were Indonesians, and one, the truck driver, was a Taiwanese citizen, reported NOWnews. In addition, two Coast Guard officers sustained minor lacerations from downed cables while taking part in rescue operations.

Six unidentified foreign fishermen are believed to be trapped in the fishing boats under the bridge. Divers have reportedly heard knocking sounds apparently coming from inside the boats, and Marines have been dispatched to the scene to aid with the rescue.

According to local media reports, the 60-year-old driver of the oil tanker truck, surnamed Chang (張), has sustained a thoracic fracture, head trauma, and a broken leg. Chang has regained consciousness, and when asked about the incident, he said he could only remember finding himself trapped inside the truck’s cab after a huge shock.

(CNA photo)

The injured persons have been taken to Lotung Pohai Hospital and Taipei Veterans General Hospital Su-Ao Branch for treatment.