Bridge collapse in Taiwan: what caused it?

Bridge collapse in Taiwan was possibly due to rusted cables.


NSFW    YILAN, TAIWAN — Taiwanese authorities are looking into what may have caused the sudden collapse of a bridge in northeastern Taiwan.

CNA reports that an oil tanker truck had been driving over the Nanfangao Bridge in Taiwan's Yilan County when the structure abruptly gave way.

The collapse caused the oil truck to plunge six stories down and catch fire. Three fishing vessels beneath the bridge were crushed, with at least 9 people falling overboard.

The Taiwanese truck driver was rescued from the cab of the truck, and taken to the hospital.

Liberty Times reports that he sustained multiple fractured ribs, head trauma, a damaged kidney, a ruptured spleen, and a broken leg.

He regained consciousness Tuesday afternoon, and is slated for an operation on Friday. Doctors say they are optimistic about his condition.

At least 11 Indonesian and Filipino fishermen were also injured in the incident but have been rescued. According to Apple Daily, four fishermen were found dead, while two more remain missing.

Focus Taiwan reports that the cause of the collapse is still being investigated, there is speculation that the cables holding the structure up had rusted from exposure to the ocean air, rain, and wind.

Yilan County had been besieged by heavy rain and strong winds from Typhoon Mitag a day earlier, and been hit by a 3.8-magnitude earthquake early Tuesday. Officials have yet to determine whether either of these was a factor in the incident.
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