Death Toll Of Indonesia’s Bridge Collapse Rises To Nine, With 17 Wounded

JAKARTA, Jan 20 (NNN-ANTARA) – Rescuers recovered nine bodies and were searching for another missing person, after a suspension bridge collapsed, in Indonesia’s western Bengkulu province on Sunday, Head of the Search and Rescue Office of the province, Abdul Malik, said today (Monday).

Torrential rains triggered flash floods that hit the bridge, in the district of Kaur, at 3:00 p.m. Jakarta time, the National Disaster Management Agency, said.

A total of 17 people survived the accident and suffered injuries, according to spokesman for the province’s Disaster Management Agency, Heru.

“We recovered nine victims of the bridge collapse. All of them are dead. And our target now is to find one person who is still missing,” Abdul said.

The rescuers were combing the downstream area of the river, to find the missing person, involving over 100 rescuers from his office, soldiers, policemen and personnel of the Disaster Management Agency, as well as, volunteers.

“The search would cover a 27-km long area, starting from the bridge, and it will end at the estuary of the river,” said Malik.

Although rescuers used rubber and rigid boats, the strong current hampered the search mission, he said.

“The current remains strong after days of heavy downpours. That is an obstacle for us now,” said Abdul.

Torrential rains were blamed for the natural disaster, according to Agus Wibowo, spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency.

The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency, warned of possible excessive downpours in several parts of the vast-archipelagic country, in Jan and Feb.– NNN-ANTARA