SINGAPORE: The collapse of a bridge in a 4.5-star hotel in Batam which resulted in 26 Singaporeans being injured, was caused by too many people standing in a “concentrated area” of the bridge, said the hotel.
It also disputed earlier reports yesterday citing the Riau Islands provincial police spokesman as saying that the bridge likely collapsed due to its foundations decaying.
“Findings from the preliminary investigation show that unlike previously reported, the legs and foundation remain intact, ” said Montigo Resorts Nongsa yesterday, the hotel where the incident happened.
The resort provided photos showing that the legs and foundation of the bridge were still intact, even after the incident.
Montigo Resorts added that the bridge, which is 3m above sea level, was serviced this year and undergoes checks regularly. The bridge was built in 2012.
A group of about 100 employees from community self-help group Mendaki were at the Batam hotel for a retreat to discuss Mendaki’s work plans for next year when the bridge collapsed. Of these, 30 were taking a group photo on the bridge when the incident happened, resulting in 26 of them falling into a shallow part of the sea.
The 26 who were injured were taken to a hospital by the resort immediately, Montigo Resorts said.
Among them, two will require further medical assistance in Singapore, with one suffering an ankle fracture and the other, a rib fracture.
The other 24 Mendaki staff members suffered only light injuries and were treated as outpatients. Two of these employees later decided to go to hospital for further checks when they returned to Singapore.
In its statement, Montigo Resorts said it was “deeply regretful” over the matter, and that it takes the incident very seriously.
“More checks and a full investigation are ongoing at the moment. In the meantime, warning signs have been placed near the accident zone, ” it said.
A full repair will also be done to ensure that the bridge is robust for future guests, it added.
Montigo Resorts said that the bridge collapsed because the number of people on the bridge, 30, was over its capacity. It said the bridge was meant for transient passage.
“The original plan for the group was to take photos... at the sand park, not on the bridge, ” said Leny Suparman, group chief executive of KOP Limited, at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal where the Mendaki employees arrived from Batam. KOP owns Montigo Resorts. — The Straits Times/ANN