Taiwan: Rescuers search for 21 tourists lost in storm

Taiwanese rescuers abseiled down a rocky ridge today as they searched for 21 Chinese tourists whose bus is believed to have tumbled off a narrow coastal road last week during a fierce typhoon that lashed east Asia.

Rescue officials said they had found body parts in the area but no definitive identifications had yet been made. Debris from the bus found along the steep ridge suggests the vehicle may have fallen off the road and into the sea more than 274m below.

Teams of Taiwanese rescuers are also using helicopters and ships to search for the passengers who were on the bus.

Relatives of the missing tourists, from the southern city of Zhuhai in China, have blamed a Taiwanese travel agency for failing to take necessary precautions when Typhoon Megi struck the island on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Taipei-based Chuang Yi Travel was not immediately available for comment.

Taiwanese officials did not close the road, which winds along the rock-strewn north east coast and is prone to mudslides.

Megi claimed at least 28 lives in the Philippines and 12 in Taiwan, including nine people who were buried alive when a mudslide obliterated a Buddhist temple in Ilan county. The county sustained a record 114cm of rain.

After leaving Taiwan, Megi dumped up to 33cm of rain on Chinese coastal villages and caused major damage to fishing boats and shellfish beds in Fujian province.

Chinese tourism to Taiwan, a former enemy, has exploded in the 29 months since the Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office. An average of 2,500 mainland visitors arrive on the island every day.

More in this Section

US braces for Donald Trump’s impeachment trialUS braces for Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing begins in CanadaHuawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

Three killed and dozens wounded in Baghdad protestsThree killed and dozens wounded in Baghdad protests

UK Government suffers three defeats on Boris Johnson’s Brexit dealUK Government suffers three defeats on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal


SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner