Collapse of footbridge over Indonesia river kills at least nine


  • ASEAN+
  • Monday, 20 Jan 2020

High intensity rain that hit Bengkulu over the weekend has inundated thousands of houses in the region. A footbridge across a river swollen by heavy rains collapsed on Indonesia's island of Sumatra, drowning at least nine people who were swept away by a strong current, with one person missing, disaster mitigation officials said on Monday (Jan 20).

JAKARTA: A footbridge across a river swollen by heavy rains collapsed on Indonesia's island of Sumatra, drowning at least nine people who were swept away by a strong current, with one person missing, disaster mitigation officials said on Monday (Jan 20).

Seventeen people were rescued at the site of Sunday's collapse in the province of Bengkulu, where Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency has launched a rescue effort, its spokesman, Agus Wibowo, said.

A crowd of about 30 people, mostly students, gathered on the bridge could have caused a strain leading to the collapse, Wibowo said.

Apart from the casualties, the local search and rescue team also recorded that a local identified as Ipan was still unaccounted for.

“We will launch a search and rescue mission again tomorrow (Tuesday) to look for the missing person. We’ll look for him at the mouth of the river,” Bengkulu Search and Rescue Agency head Abdul Malik told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He added that the bridge collapsed might have not been the only cause of death but also the high-flowing river. Some were also reportedly hit by rocks and other materials in the water.

Kaur Disaster Mitigation Agency head Ujang Safiri said authorities suspected that the bridge collapsed on account of carrying heavy loads.

“According to information we obtained, they were spending their free time on the bridge at the time of the incident. Some of them are junior and high school students,” Ujang said.

"They were watching the floods in the river below and then the bridge snapped, so they fell into the overflowing river," he added.

A strong current in the river had swept away the victims, drowning them, regional disaster official Ujang Syafiri said in comments to state news agency Antara, adding that the bridge was mostly used by farmers living nearby.

"Since last night, the regional disaster mitigation agency, the military, the police, related organisations, and volunteers had been searching for the missing," Wibowo said in a statement on Monday. - Jakarta Post/Agencies/Asian News Network
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Collapsed Bridge , Sumatra , Nine Dead

   

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