Body of 3rd missing Pinoy in Taiwan recovered

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    RESCUERS yesterday found the body of the third missing Filipino fisherman buried under the rubble of the bridge that collapsed into a harbor on Tuesday in Yilan county, Taiwan.

    Manila Economic and Cultural Office chair Lito Banayo said the body of Romulo Escalicas Jr. was found inside a fishing vessel that was crushed when the bridge collapsed into it.

    Last Wednesday, the bodies of Filipinos Andree Abregana Serencio and Gorge Jagmis Impang were also found by rescuers.

    “Repatriation of the three would probably take a week or so. We will exert all efforts to hasten the process,” said Banayo.

    Banayo said the families of the three will each receive P200,000 and burial assistance of P20,000.

    Last Tuesday, five other Filipino workers, identified as Julio S. Gimawa, Jason N. Villaruel, Allan H. Alcansano, John Vicente Royo, and June B. Flores, were brought to the hospital for treatment.

    “Those five are doing well since they their wounds are just superficial,” Banayo said.

    Dramatic video images released by Taiwan’s Coast Patrol Corps showed the arched bridge in the northeastern town of Suao collapsing just as an oil tanker was crossing. Plumes of black smoke went up when the cargo of fuel burst into flames.

    It was not immediately known what caused the collapse that crushed three boats and set the tanker ablaze.

    The bridge, dubbed the “lovers’ bridge,” was built in 1998 and was a tourist attraction.