5 Pinoys hurt in Taiwan bridge collapse

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2019 01:18 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2019 06:30 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE) - Five Filipinos sustained minor injuries after a bridge collapsed into a harbor in northeastern Taiwan on Tuesday, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) said.

Gerry de Belen, MECO Director and information officer, said the 5 have been discharged from hospital. Initial reports said 3 Filipinos were hurt in the incident.

5 Pinoys hurt in Taiwan bridge collapse 1
Rescuers work near the site of a collapsed bridge in Nanfangao, eastern Taiwan on October 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

Three other Filipinos and three Indonesians are still missing, De Belen said. 

De Belen said the victims, all of whom are fishermen, were inside a docked vessel when the bridge collapsed.

"Nakaparada po sa vicinity kasi po nagre-refuel po sila. Nagpapahinga po sila sa kanilang vessel noong nangyari ang insidente," De Belen told DZMM.

(Their fishing vessel was docked in the vicinity for refueling. They were resting inside their vessel when the incident happened.)

De Belen said a cable supporting the 20-year-old bridge was damaged, which may have caused its collapse.

He also said Philippine officials have visited the Filipino victims and extended financial aid.

They have likewise talked to the Filipinos' employers to ensure that all hospital bills and medical needs are covered. 

The collapse left at least 6 people seriously injured, Taiwan's Central News Agency earlier said, with 9 people falling into the water, 7 of whom were rescued.

The collapse of the bridge, which carries traffic over the busy fishing port, damaged three fishing boats and two vehicles, including the tanker, the officials said. 

The reason for the collapse in clear weather was not immediately known.

Late on Monday, Typhoon Mitag, packing maximum winds of 162 kph, swept past northeastern Taiwan, injuring 12 people and cutting power to more than 66,000 homes, with more than 150 flights cancelled. 

-- With a report from Reuters