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2 dead after Taiwan bridge collapses onto boats, ignites oil truck

By Nicholas Sakelaris
2 dead after Taiwan bridge collapses onto boats, ignites oil truck
Rescuers search for survivors Tuesday after the Nanfangao Bridge in Nanfangao, Taiwan, collapsed and killed at least 2 people. Photo by Ritchie B Tongo/EPA-EFE

Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Two people were killed and 20 were injured Tuesday after a landmark bridge collapsed on top of three boats in Taiwan, authorities said.

The 460-foot Nanfangao Bridge, which opened in 1998, buckled just hours after a typhoon hit the island. State-run media reported that a bridge pier collapsed, but it's not yet known if the typhoon was a factor in the collapse.

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An oil tanker truck that was on the bridge as it collapsed caught fire. The driver was one of several who were hospitalized.

Rescuers said earlier they were trying to save six people trapped on one of the boats, after divers heard knocking sounds. More than 60 military personnel and private fishing vessels were involved in the search effort.

Rescuers said spilled oil from the crushed boats made the search more difficult.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen told state-run Central News Agency she hoped all government departments would do everything possible to "keep the number of deaths and injuries as low as possible."

The accident stranded a number of fishing boats trapped in the port.

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