Two Filipinos dead, 1 missing in Taiwan bridge collapse

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Two Filipinos were found dead under debris after a 140-meter bridge collapse in northeast Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office confirmed Wednesday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 2) — Two Filipinos were found dead under debris after a 140-meter bridge collapsed in northeast Taiwan, officials confirmed Wednesday. Another Filipino remains missing.

The Department of Labor and Employment said the remains of Andree Abregana Serencio and Gorge Jagmis Impang were retrieved during rescue operations.

“We will assist in the (repatriation) of human remains and to process all benefits and entitlements arising from the accident,” DOLE said in a statement.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office, the Philippines' de facto embassy in Taiwan, said the families of those who died will also each receive compensation of ₱200,000 and burial assistance worth ₱20,000.

"Bali kagabi at ngayong umaga, may natagpuan nang dalawang bangkay mula doon sa nalalabing bahagi ng fishing boat na lumubog dahil sa gumuhong tulay at sila ay kumpirmadong mga Pilipino," MECO director for administration Gerry de Belen told CNN Philippines' Balitaan.

[Translation: Last night and this morning, two bodies were found from the portion of the fishing boat that sank because of the collapsed bridge and they have been confirmed to be Filipinos.]

"May natitira pa tayong isa na unaccounted for na sinasabing nasa loob ng fishing boat noong maganap 'yung incident," he said, adding that the Yilan Country Fire Department is continuing with rescue operations for the missing.

[Translation: We have one more unaccounted for who was reported to be inside the fishing boat when the insident happened.]

Earlier, DOLE said the accident injured five Filipino fishermen who were brought to Poai Hospital and Rhong Min Hospital in Yilan County, while three other Filipinos remained trapped inside their fishing vessels under the bridge.

MECO said four of the injured victims have been discharged from the hospital. Another victim is under observation but is in stable condition.

On Tuesday, an oil tanker which proved too heavy for the suspension bridge brought the structure down and crashed on fishing boats, sparking a fire, CNN International reported.

Taiwan's English portal Taiwan News reported Wednesday that four bodies of migrant fishery workers have been recovered, including two Indonesians and the two Filipinos. They were among six foreign fishermen believed trapped in their fishing boats under the collapsed bridge. The report said 10 other people were sent to a nearby hospital following the incident, including six with serious injuries.