Officials look for causes in Yilan bridge collapse

Following the sudden collapse of Nanfang'ao Bridge in Yilan on Tuesday, its steel cables are currently at the heart of the investigation.

    2019/10/02

NSFW    YILAN, TAIWAN — Following the sudden collapse of Nanfang'ao Bridge in Yilan on Tuesday, its steel cables are currently at the heart of the investigation.

According to Taiwan News, the structures vertical suspension cables, known as "hangers" snapped.

Speaking to the Liberty Times, Sung Yu-chi of the School of Engineering at National Taipei University of Technology believes that the ocean salt could be a factor. The high levels of salt content in the air could result in rusting, thus weakening the cables.

Another theory is that long-term vibration caused by wind may have loosened cable anchors.

Yilan county also had experienced a magnitude 3.8 earthquake at 1:54 a.m on the morning of the collapse. It was also hit by Typhoon Mitag on Monday, which brought heavy rain and strong winds.

Officials have yet to indicate whether either was a factor in the collapse.

Citing the Yilan County Fire Bureau, Taiwan News reports that 10 fishermen have been rescued, six of whom have suffered serious injuries, and four having sustained minor injuries.

The Ministry of the Interior's National Fire Agency said of the 10 people requiring hospitalization, that six were Filipinos and three were Indonesians.

Up to six fishermen are still believed to be trapped under the bridge inside their fishing boats with divers hearing knocking sounds coming from them.

Since the incident, a total of 214 first responders, 32 disaster rescue vehicles, 14 ambulances, and 11 boats have been dispatched to the scene.
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