Three Pinoy workers were trapped and missing along with three others when the Taiwan bridge collapsed on Tuesday morning.
The 140-meter long bridge crashed down in Nanfangao, Taiwan’s east coast.
A CCTV footage showed a petrol tanker crossing the bridge when it suddenly collapsed and fell on at least three fishing below.
Five more Filipinos were among the at least 12 injured in the incident. Three of the Pinoys were already sent home according to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), the country’s representative office in Taiwan.
Three Filipinos were trapped in the boat and are missing, MECO said.
“Nagre-refuel sila sa lugar nang mangyari ang insidente,” said Gerry de Belen, director of MECO administration and information office.
(They were refueling in the area when the incident occurred.)
Search and rescue operations continue in Taiwan collapsed bridge
Rescuers pulled out one badly damaged boat under the collapsed bridge, but two remained trapped on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s been a long time since it happened and even if the workers survived the impact of the collapse, the air might not last this long,” said a local official.
Yilan Fire Department chief Hsu Song-yi said the low underwater visibility made the search and rescue more difficult.
“This is a complicated rescue operation. We were in consultation with structural and building experts as well as ship-building experts, and therefore it has taken us longer. We are doing our best,” Hsu Song-yi said.
According to reports, the petrol tanker which also fell with the bridge burst into flames at some point after it hit the water.
Meanwhile, the transport minister Lin Chia-lung said the bridge was still within its expected lifespan of 50 years.
According to Taiwan News, the bridge was “was completed in 1998 and is the only steel single-arch bridge in Taiwan, the first bifurcated single-arch bridge in Asia, and one of only two in the world.”
“Recent weather conditions, earthquakes, and past assessments of the bridge will be taken into considerations. We will fully cooperate with the investigation,” Lin Chia-lung told reporters.