The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 07 October 2019 00:00cat

Bridge collapse in Taiwan: 5 people confirmed dead

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An arch bridge located in eastern Taiwan suddenly collapsed sending an oil tanker truck onto fishing watercrafts below.

The 140-meter structure gave way on October 1, 2019, at 9:30 local time. The bridge that was completed in 1998 was located in Nanfangao, a village in the Pacific coast where fishing thrives. Ironically, it replaced an older structure that prevented fishing boats from passing underneath.

The structure was the only single-span arch bridge in Taiwan, and the second worldwide, that was supported by cables.

Officials are examining the causes of the collapse. Currently, the condition of the bridge's steel cables is under investigation.

The region was earlier struck by a typhoon that may have caused the structure to deteriorate. According to a report issued in 2016, there were certain problems with the bridge's expansion joints that were used to absorb temperature changes. However, the company responsible for the structure's management, Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC), stated that those issues were addressed in 2017 and 2018. 

According to the local's town major, Lee Ming-Che, concerns had been raised about the bridge's integrity since it was used by trucks carrying blocks of concrete and the load limit could have been exceeded. Nevertheless, TIPC ensured that those trucks used the bridge after safety tests were conducted. Yet, the company is prepared to accept any proven responsibility. “The project was evaluated and proven to be fine. We will check if there’s any problem with the bridge’s design, construction and maintenance ... We will not evade responsibilities, if we have any,” Wang Chin-Jung, TIPC Associate General Manager.

The collapse was captured on camera. Click the video below to see the dramatic footage.







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