Indonesia bridge collapse kills 10

2011-11-28 08:19
Tenggarong - The death toll from a weekend bridge collapse on Borneo Island climbed to 10 on Monday with more than 30 people still reported missing, Indonesian rescue officials said.

Dozens of vehicles and construction workers were thrown into the water when the busy 720m long bridge built to resemble San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge over the Mahakam river collapsed on Saturday.

"We found five more bodies this morning on the banks of the river, so the toll is now 10. They had been washed up to shore overnight," National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.

"Thirty-nine people have been injured and based on reports by the community, at least 33 are missing.

"It's difficult to know exactly how many are missing because we don't know how many vehicles and people fell when the bridge collapsed."

The river "is around 35m to 40m deep and has zero visibility down there," he added.

Nugroho said rescue teams would use echo-sounding to analyse the position of the bridge's underwater metal frame to ensure it is safe to start removing the debris.

Witnesses reportedly heard a loud crashing sound as the structure buckled, sending a public bus, cars and motorcycles plunging into the broad river in Kutai Kartanegara district.

Survivors desperately swam to the shore, screaming in panic, while others were trapped underwater beneath the debris.

String of bridge disasters

The cause of the collapse was not immediately clear but Nugroho said on Sunday that a steel support cable for the bridge, finished in 2002, snapped as workers were repairing it.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered an investigation.

Indonesia is setting a blistering pace of growth, expected to top six percent this year, but investors complain infrastructure is hopelessly inadequate and that the nation is mired in corruption and red tape.

The government last year announced plans to spend $140bn on infrastructure until 2014, more than half of which would have to come from the private sector.

There have been a string of bridge disasters in Indonesia in recent years, including two others this year, according to local newspapers.

Last month, a bridge in South Sumatra province collapsed under the weight of a trailer-truck loaded with construction materials, and in September two workers were killed and four injured when a bridge under construction collapsed in the same province.

Also on Sumatra Island, 12 children died in October last year when a suspension bridge collapsed as they were taking part in a traditional ceremony to dispel bad luck.

In April 2009, one person died and two others were injured when a bridge collapsed in Central Kalimantan province.

Read more on:    indonesia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.