5 Filipinos injured in Taiwan bridge collapse
MANILA, Philippines – Five Filipinos were among those injured after a bridge collapsed in Taiwan and smashed onto a group of fishing boats moored underneath on Tuesday, October 1.
The Philippines' Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) identified the 5 fisherman as Julio Gimawa, Jason Villaruel, Allan Alcansano, John Vicente Royo, and June Flores. The men sustained minor injuries and were being treated at the Poai Hospital and Rong min Hospital.
DOLE gave assurances that Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) officials were assisting the Filipino workers and extended immediate assistance including "basic needs and personal requirements" of the overseas workers. Officials were also in close coordination with the workers' employers.
The National Fire Agency of Taiwan earlier reported 6 Filipinos were among the 12 people injured from the collapse though POLO said it has so far recorded 5 OFWs.
Rescue and retrieval operations were still ongoing following the collapse of the bridge. Authorities said remained unclear what caused the collapse of the bridge, which was built in 1998 and spanned a small fishing port.
Taiwan transportation minister Lin Chia-lung said prosecutors have launched an investigation into the cause of the incident, adding that the bridge was still within its expected 50-year lifespan.
Taiwan has a huge fishing industry and many of those who work on its boats are low-paid migrant workers from countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com