Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday ordered a nationwide inspection of bridges in the wake of Tuesday’s collapse of the Nanfangao Bridge in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳), but also said that the bridge would be rebuilt, as Nanfangao is a major fishing port and a tourist attraction.
Su also ordered the newly established Taiwan Transportation Safety Board to investigate the cause of the collapse and report on how improvements can be made to prevent similar incidents.
Inspection of bridges overseen by the Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC) are to focus on those that are old or dilapidated, have been hit by landslides, are structurally unique, or located by ports or the seaside, leaving them prone to corrosion, Su said at a weekly Cabinet meeting.
Photo: Wu Cheng-feng, Taipei Times
The Public Construction Commission is to create a list of all bridges not overseen by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Su said.
The commission is also to ensure that any potentially dangerous bridges are identified and that the needed reinforcement work is conducted by the relevant agencies, the premier added.
Inspections of bridges overseen by TIPC are to be completed by the end of this year, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said.
Photo courtesy of Ministry of National Defense
There are more than 20,000 bridges nationwide that fall under the jurisdiction of local governments, and they are to undergo a thorough inspection, she said.
No matter how many administrations there have been over the 21 years since the Nanfangao Bridge was built, the current administration would not seek to evade responsibility over the incident, she added.
The design and tendering process for rebuilding the bridge is to be overseen by the Public Construction Commission, Su told the Cabinet.
Later in the day, Su was asked by reporters whether TIPC was simply a pork-barrel agency for Democratic Progressive Party, as the Nanfangao Bridge had not been inspected for 21 years, while TIPC’s three former chairmen during President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration had all served in the Kaoshiung City Government when Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) was mayor of Kaohsiung.
Once the investigation into the collapse is complete, anyone found to bear responsibility for the incident would be strictly punished, Su told reporters.
It would be appropriate for personnel that were negligent in maintaining the bridge to be subject to punishment, he said.
In other developments, military personnel yesterday morning cleared a path for about 500 fishing boats to enter and exit the fishing port amid the ongoing removal of the bridge wreckage, the premier announced.
If the work of fishing boats in the port or the operations of stores or businesses in the port area prove to be affected by the heavy vehicles being used to clear the debris, the transportation ministry would provide compensation after consulting Minister Without Portfolio Wu Tze-cheng (吳澤成), he added.
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted a Chinese sea captain over his alleged involvement in the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012, while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The suspect, identified by the media as 43-year-old Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕), was charged with homicide and breaches of the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the indictment read. Wang asked two Pakistani mercenaries that he hired as acting captain of the Kaohsiung-registered Ping Shin No. 101 to fire on and kill four suspected Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29,
UPGRADE: The system is more efficient than others, which typically involve longer procedures that can produce pseudo-positive or pseudo-negative results The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center yesterday unveiled an infrared wax physisorption kinetics imaging system, which it said efficiently detects 10 types of cancer. Through scanning tissue section samples, the imaging system can detect colon, breast, stomach, oral, ovarian, cervical, prostate and skin cancer, as well as neuroendocrine tumors and glioblastoma, center associate research fellow Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌) told a news conference in Taipei. The system uses paraffin and beeswax with organic solutions as developers for its infrared imaging device, which can mark abnormal polysaccharides on the surface of cancer cells in six to 15 minutes, while the wax is absorbed by
China is trying to convince Taiwanese that an authoritarian system is preferable to democracy, the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) said at a conference yesterday. China has been employing Taiwanese sympathetic to its “united front” tactics to help spread disinformation about democracy and Taiwanese society through social media, television programs, YouTube and by other means, the group said at the conference to promote public awareness of China’s cognitive warfare campaign. In the group’s latest report, it highlighted eight disinformation discussions that its researchers listed under three main topics: flu viruses in the US are deadlier than COVID-19; US troop movements caused the