Taiwan bridge collapse crushes fishing boats, some crew feared trapped

Reuters

Posted at Oct 01 2019 12:39 PM

A view of debris and the collapsed Nanfang'ao Bridge is seen after a typhoon hit Su'ao in Yilan county, Taiwan, in this still image from video obtained via social media. Xinmei Live Seafood/Reuters

TAIPEI - A bridge collapsed into a harbor in northeastern Taiwan on Tuesday, crushing several fishing boats with some crew feared trapped, authorities said, although the number of casualties was not immediately clear.

Several injured people were taken to hospital, while divers plunged into the waters in a search for those feared trapped in a couple of fishing boats, 2 government officials from the port township of Suao told Reuters.

"The bridge collapsed at around 9:30 a.m. while an oil tanker vehicle was on it, setting the vehicle on fire," said Shih I-chun, the secretary of the town's mayor. "We feared that some fishermen might be trapped in the boats."

Authorities have pressed soldiers into the rescue effort and set up an emergency center to run the operation.

The collapse of the bridge, which carries traffic over the busy fishing port, damaged 3 fishing boats and 2 vehicles, including the tanker, the officials said, though the reason for the collapse in clear weather was not immediately clear.

Late on Monday, Typhoon Mitag, packing maximum winds of 162 kph, swept past northeastern Taiwan, injuring 12 people and cutting power to more than 66,000 homes, with more than 150 flights cancelled.