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Last batch of 'lucky tunnel stones' attracts believers

2018/05/22 18:53:58

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Hundreds of people flooded to the Kaohsiung Motor Vehicles Office Tuesday to get stones removed from a tunnel on the South-Link Highway, which they believe to hold magical powers.

A total of 250 stones from the Tsaopu Tunnel, a 4.6-kilometer tunnel being constructed in a Ministry of Transportation and Communications project since 2011 to upgrade the highway connecting Taitung and Pingtung counties in southern Taiwan, were given out in 30 minutes, transport officials said.

"The first person in the queue came at 4 a.m. for the event that started at 8 a.m." said Chen Pao-chan (陳保展), a deputy division head of the Directorate General of Highways, which oversees the construction.

The stones are considered by the superstitious to be "special" because they come from the wall that separated opposite ends of the tunnel before it was completed.

These people believe the stones can overcome difficulties and are particularly efficacious for families who wish to have children.

Each tunnel penetration can produce tens of thousands of stones, and they are often transported to different townships immediately for distribution, Chen explained.

Tuesday's stones are also likely to be the last batch of such stones for a while because there are no ongoing tunnelling projects in the country, he said.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)