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Premier expresses condolences after fatal bridge collapse

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At Thursday's Cabinet meeting, Premier Su Tseng-chang expressed the government's regret over the loss of life as a result of the collapse of the Nanfang-ao Bridge in Yilan County on October 1. All of those killed were migrant workers from the Philippines and Indonesia, who had contributed much to Taiwan's fishing industry. The premier conveyed his deep personal sense of regret, sadness and shame, and offered his best wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.

Quickly restoring normal operations at the Nanfang-ao fishing port, providing compensation, and helping those affected are now top priorities, said Premier Su. He directed relevant ministries and agencies to proceed assiduously in carrying out a number of necessary tasks, including establishing single-window service to provide victims' families with immediate compensation and travel arrangements to Taiwan. Those injured should receive the best medical care and assistance returning to normal life, in addition to support payments and help with insurance claims.

Besides promptly undertaking recovery work, the government will use compensation and subsidies to reduce as much as possible any income and business losses suffered by local fisherman and shops, the premier said. He also emphasized that an investigation into the cause of the collapse has already begun, and will conclude with recommendations to ensure a safer transportation network and prevent similar accidents.

As the fishing port is an important tourist destination, efforts to restore regular traffic are paramount, said Premier Su. He directed the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to move quickly to plan reconstruction, finish designs and issue bid requests once the cleanup has reached a suitable point. The premier emphasized that a new bridge for the port must be completed as quickly as possible.

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