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Taiwan Bridge Collapse Kills Two Persons and Injures 12

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

Hours after a typhoon swept across Taiwan, a 460-foot (140-meter) bridge collapsed Tuesday morning in Yilan, a small Pacific coast fishing village.

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The collapse killed two people and injured at least 12 others, CNN reported.

More than 60 military personnel, including divers, an air force helicopter and local fishing vessels promptly began a search for more possible victims.

The National Fire Agency said six people were missing and believed to be trapped on one of the fishing boats, according to the Associated Press.

Taiwan National Fire Agency Sets Up Central Disaster Response Center

The National Fire Agency also set up a Central Disaster Response Center to deal with the injured.

The collapse of the Nanfangao Bridge – also known as the Southern Australia Cross-Harbour Bridge – sent an oil tanker plunging into the water. Bridge debris also smashed three fishing boats which caught fire, the government-run China News Agency (CNA) reported.

CNA added that the bridge had not been updated for “about 21 years.”

Officials Would Not Say If Bridge Collapse Was Due to Recent Typhoon

CNA said a bridge pier may have given way. But disaster relief officials would not say whether the recent typhoon had weakened the bridge or provide other details as to the cause of the collapse.

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,” according to CNA.

The 60-foot (18 meters) tall bridge opened in 1998. According to the firm that designed it, it is the only single-span arch bridge in Taiwan supported by cables. It is also only the second single arch-cable bridge in the world.

The South China Post said Typhoon Mitag was categorized by Taiwan’s weather bureau as the second-strongest typhoon level. The storm was predicted to approach the coast of the northeastern county of Yilan with maximum winds of 101 mph (162km/h).

Schools and financial markets were closed Monday in anticipation of the typhoon. Airlines cancelled dozens of flights.

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David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies.

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