Arch bridge falls in Taiwan bay, divers search for victims

An injured people lies on stretcher at the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A towering bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan has collapsed sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. A disaster relief official said the collapse set off a fire and at least 10 people have been hurt. (Taiwan's Coast Guard via AP)
Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A towering bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan has collapsed sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. A disaster relief official said the collapse set off a fire and at least 10 people have been hurt. (Taiwan's Coast Guard via AP)
Rescuers work near the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A towering bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan has collapsed sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. A disaster relief official said the collapse set off a fire and at least 10 people have been hurt. (AP Photo)
Rescuers work near the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A towering bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan has collapsed sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. A disaster relief official said the collapse set off a fire and at least 10 people have been hurt. (AP Photo)
Rescuers work near the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A towering bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan has collapsed sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. A disaster relief official said the collapse set off a fire and at least 10 people have been hurt. (Taiwan's Coast Guard via AP)
Rescuers work near the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A towering bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan has collapsed sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. A disaster relief official said the collapse set off a fire and at least 10 people have been hurt. (AP Photo)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A towering arch bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan collapsed Tuesday, sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. An air force helicopter, fishing vessels and more than 60 military personnel, including divers were searching for possible victims.

Six people are believed trapped on one of the boats, the National Fire Agency said. Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung told reporters about five people were feared to have been on the bridge when it collapsed. Ten people were sent to hospitals, six of them with serious injuries.

The 140-meter-long (460-feet) bridge collapsed about 9:30 a.m. in Nanfangao, a tiny but often-crowded Pacific coast fishing village.

The weather at the time was sunny, hours after a typhoon swept across parts of the island. Disaster relief officials would not say if the storm had weakened the bridge or give other details on the potential cause. Government-run Central News Agency said a bridge pier may have collapsed.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said she hoped all government departments would do everything possible to save people and "keep the number of deaths and injuries as low as possible," CNA reported.

National Fire Agency spokesperson Su Hong-wei said the tanker's fall smashed three boats. Of the 10 people hospitalized, six are Filipinos and three are Indonesians, the agency said in a statement. People from both countries regularly staff Taiwanese-registered boats.

Typhoon Mitag had brought high winds and heavy rain to northern Taiwan on Monday night before moving northeast. Flights and ferry services had been canceled Monday.

Nanfangao Bridge is a tourist attraction in Yilan. It was opened in 1998 and was built to replace a lower bridge that prevented large fishing vessels from passing underneath.

According to the company that designed the 18-meter-high (nearly 60 feet) high bridge, MAA Consultants, it's the only single-span arch bridge in Taiwan supported by cables and the second single arch-cable steel bridge in the world.

Video footage on Twitter showed a large truck almost getting across the bridge and then tumbling backward as the bridge collapsed into the water.

___

Associated Press writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Bangkok contributed to this report.

Must Read

Mississippi town mourns deaths of 3 couples in...

Aug 15, 2016

Three married couples killed in the crash of a small airplane in Alabama all lived in the...

BACK TO SCHOOL: Enrollment up a bit as kids...

Aug 16, 2016

The lazy days of summer are ending for millions of children as they grab their backpacks, pencils...

Regulators study horseshoe crab survival in...

Aug 16, 2016

Environmental regulators studying the Delaware Bay harvesting of horseshoe crabs that are drained...

South African vineyard's duck parade doubles as...

Aug 17, 2016

South African vineyard's duck parade doubles as pest control; environmentalists approve

Wal-Mart raises annual profit outlook, reports...

Aug 18, 2016

Wal-Mart is raising its annual profit outlook after reporting strong quarterly sales and profit

About Us

Started in 2015, Science Of The World offers in-depth news about the latest scientific discoveries. If you’re looking for a reliable source, Science Of The World is the one for you.

Subscribe Now!