A bridge in Taiwan has collapsed, injuring a dozen people and crushing several boats.

Nanfang’ao Bridge in Taiwan's northeastern Yilan country is known as a local tourist destination. It was built in 1998 and was soon dubbed the “lover’s bridge.” It was strengthened in 2018, but apparently it wasn’t enough to prevent its collapse early on Tuesday morning.

At about 9:30 AM local time, Nanfang’ao Bridge collapsed. The whole thing was caught on camera from several angles.


You can see in the footage that a tanker truck transporting oil is just moments away from escaping, but doesn’t quite reach safety. It plunges along with the bridge and reportedly caught fire after impact.

Amazingly, according to the New York Times, the driver survived but was rescued with injuries.

Five people were on the bridge when it collapsed. A dozen people are reported injured, although that number is tentative as rescue workers continue to scour the wreckage. Three boats were crushed in the collapse, and six fishermen are still unaccounted for. They’re thought to be trapped in the rubble of their fishing boats.

The Taiwanese government has called in the navy and marines to assist in the rescue operation. A navy tug boat pulled one of the wrecked ships clear of the rubble, but nobody was found inside.

A task force has also been created by the government to investigate the cause of the accident as well as inspect old bridges across the country.

Nanfang’ao Bridge was 460 feet long and 60 feet high. It's the second single-arch cable-supported steel bridge made in the world and considered a very modern design. Its collapse in clear weather is currently a mystery with no clear cause.

However, it's possible that typhoon Mitah may have had something to do with it. Mitah swept through northeastern Taiwan on Monday, bringing torrential rains and 100 mph winds leaving many damaged homes in its wake.

“Saving life is the priority,” Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said a Facebook post. “I will ask related authorities to make all efforts for the rescue.”

(sources: Reuters, New York Times)