Taipei, Taiwan – A towering arch bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan collapsed on Tuesday, dropping an oil tanker onto boats in the water. The search for potential victims involved an Air Force helicopter and more than 60 army and naval forces, including divers.
Six people are said to have been trapped in one of the boats, the National Fire Department said in a statement. Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung told reporters that there were fears that five people would have been on the bridge when it collapsed. Ten people were taken to hospitals, six of them severely injured.
Fishing vessels helped find the missing persons, Hsu Formosa TV said.
The bridge collapsed at around 9:30 am in Nanfangao, a tiny but often overcrowded fishing village on the Pacific coast.
The weather at the time of the collapse was sunny, hours after a typhoon had crossed parts of the island. Civil protection officials would not say if the storm had weakened the bridge or give other details about the possible cause. The government-led Central News Agency said a bridge pier may have collapsed.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hoped that all government agencies would do anything to save people and "minimize the number of deaths and injuries". "CNA reported.
The National Fire Agency spokeswoman, Su Hong-wei, said the tanker's fall had smashed three boats.
Typhoon Mitag had brought heavy wind and heavy rain to northern Taiwan Monday evening before he hit flights and ferry services were canceled on Monday.
The 460-foot Nanfangao Bridge is a tourist attraction in Yilan, opened in 1998 and built to replace a lower bridge that prevented large vessels from sailing under. [19659006AccordingtoMAAConsultantswhodesignedthe18-meter-highbridgeitistheonlysingle-spanarchbridgeinTaiwancarriedbycablesandtheworld'ssecondsingle-spansteelbridge
Twitter became a big truck He almost crossed the bridge and then fell backward as the bridge into the bridge plunged water.