5 Pinoys hurt, 3 missing as Taiwan bridge collapses

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    A BRIDGE collapsed into a harbor in northeastern Taiwan yesterday, crushing several fishing boats with some crew feared trapped, authorities said.

    The number of casualties was not immediately clear but five Filipino crew members of a fishing boat were injured while three others were reported missing.

    The injured were taken to hospital, while divers plunged into the waters searching for those feared trapped in a couple of fishing boats.

    Manila Economic and Cultural Office chairman Lito Banayo said the Nanfangao Bridge in Nafangao, Yilan county collapsed at around 9:30 a.m., crushing several fishing boats, including the one with the Filipinos onboard.

    Banayo said the bridge may have collapsed due to strong winds and rains brought by typhoon Mitag.

    He said the five Filipinos sustained minor injuries and have been discharged from the hospital. They have also been provided assistance by MECO.

    “Three others are still the subject of search and rescue and we are not sure what happened to them yet since the rescue operation of those inside the fishing vessels that were crushed by the collapse of the bridge are still ongoing,” Banayo told dzBB.

    Banayo said Yilan county was subjected to strong winds and heavy rains Monday night, adding MECO is coordinating with local authorities in the search for the victims.

    Typhoon Mitag swept past northeastern Taiwan on Monday, injuring 12 people and cutting power to more than 60,000 homes. One hundred fifty flights were also cancelled. – With Reuters