Taiwan bridge collapse under investigation after killing six people

Possible structural issues, potential corrosion may have caused collapse

October 03, 2019
Nanfang'ao Bridge collapse Taiwan
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Military News Agency)

Authorities have launched an investigation into the collapse of a bridge that killed six people on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in northeast Taiwan.

The Nanfang'ao Bridge was a 140-meter-long and 18-meter-high single-arch bridge in Nanfang'ao, on Taiwan's east coast, about 60 km southeast of Taipei. According to reports and video footage from Central News Agency (CNA), the structure collapsed into a bay after a vertical cable at the center of the bridge's steel arch snapped suddenly. The bridge collapsed into the water over three fishing boats, and sent a petrol tanker—which was crossing the bridge at the time—plunging into the bay along with it.

According to a report from the New York Post, investigators have been examining the bridge to determine possible structural issues that led to the collapse. A 2016 report determined there were problems with the expansion joints on the structure. Taiwan International Ports Corp. (TIPC), the company responsible for the bridge, has reportedly said it resolved the issues with the joints and addressed other concerns with rusted steel reinforcements and guardrails in 2017 and 2018.

Additionally, experts are looking into the condition of the bridge’s steel cables for what potentially could have been dangerous levels of corrosion. 

All six people killed were fishing workers from Indonesia and the Philippines, according to CNA. Authorities have said at least another 12 people were injured due to the collapse. TIPC has said it would provide compensation to the families of those who were killed.

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SOURCE: Central News Agency / New York Post

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons (Military News Agency)

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