Factual Report Released on Nanfangao Sea-Crossing Bridge Collapse
At 9:30 am, October 1, 2019, the deck of Nanfangao Sea-Crossing Bridge broke and collapsed. The body of the bridge, including the deck and arch, fell into the channel of Nanfangao Fishing Harbor. A tank truck owned by CPC Corporation passing over the bridge on its way to the Nanfangao Yuyuyuchuan Gas Station fell together with the deck and started burning. Three fishing boats moored under the bridge were also crushed. The collapse resulted in the deaths of six crew, with injuries sustained by nine crew, the truck driver, and three rescue personnel.
On October 3, 2019, the Executive Yuan held the 3671st provisional motion, where President of the Executive Yuan, Soo Tsing-Tshiong, instructed the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB) to immediately launch an investigation into how the Nanfangao Sea-Crossing Bridge collapse was handled. In accordance with the Transportation Occurrences Investigation Act, the TTSB invited Stakeholders to participate in the investigation. The Directorate General of Highways (DGH), the Maritime Port Bureau, the Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Yilan County Government, and MAA Group were invited as the investigation team. The team was subdivided into two professional divisions to conduct an investigation: the maintenance division and the engineering division. The National Center for Earthquake Engineering and the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology were also invited to participate in testing and research. The Taiwan Yilan District Prosecutors Office also performed a judicial investigation, with DGH conducting an administrative investigation and the TTSB conducting a safety investigation. At the beginning of the investigation, these departments collaborated in safekeeping key evidence and testing, after which they conducted their relevant investigations within the scope of their authority.
After the accident, the TTSB immediately sent out investigators for on-site investigation and to collect evidence. All evidence was inspected, relevant personnel were interviewed, on-site image data was analyzed, and bridge debris was inspected. Technical inspection items consisted of three major items: anchors at the main bridge end, the main bridge cable system, and the steel girder of the deck. Organizational management topic investigation involved bridge inspection, bridge maintenance, large cargo delivery and transportation, and document records.
A draft report was completed after 7 months. On April 13, 2020, the TTSB held a meeting to confirm that the data was factually accurate. The draft passed review by the highway professional team of the TTSB on April 20 and was approved by the TTSB committee on May 1. Following the Transportation Occurrences Investigation Act, the TTSB released the factual data report on May 5.
The TTSB plans to complete the investigation report draft and submit it for review by the TTSB committee. After passing the review, the complete report (factual data, topic analysis, investigation discoveries, and improvement suggestions) will be released. It is hoped that through comprehensive research and analysis on risk management and organizational safety, similar occurrences will not happen again.
The factual data report can be downloaded from the TTSB official website: https://www.ttsb.gov.tw
Sherry Liu, Safety Investigator