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June 28, 2017

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Traffic resumes on Taichung's Houfeng Bridge

TAICHUNG, Taiwan -- Traffic resumed yesterday on the rebuilt Houfeng Bridge in Taichung County after a powerful typhoon collapsed the bridge two years ago, local media reported.

Typhoon Sinlaku struck the island in 2008, bringing down the bridge in the central county, leaving six people in four cars dead after their vehicles fell off the structure.

Having spent NT$1.4 billion, the government has completed the reconstruction of the broken bridge.

With the incident as a huge lesson, the government has been making efforts to prevent similar disasters by strengthening old bridges and establishing a new alarm system that could allow people sufficient time to get away from upcoming dangers, said Premier Wu Den-yih at the bridge's reopening ceremony.

After a two-year investigation into the cause for the tragedy, two civil servants faced involuntary manslaughter charges for failure to send a timely report of the alarming water levels, said local reporters.

Although families of the victims have obtained national compensation for the case, one thing that still stings them is the fact that bodies of their deceased family members have not been discovered so far.

These families also attended the ceremony, urging the government to erect a momentum beside the bridge to commemorate the deceased.

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