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Nine people killed after bridge collapses in Indonesia

Around 30 people were on the bridge when it collapsed.

A rescue team prepare to search for victims of a bridge collapse in Kaur, Indonesia
A rescue team prepare to search for victims of a bridge collapse in Kaur, Indonesia
Image: PA Images

NINE PEOPLE HAVE been killed and another is missing after a bridge collapsed on Indonesia’s Sumatra island.

Around 30 people, mostly students, were on the bridge in the town of Kaur on Sunday afternoon when the newly built crossing suddenly collapsed, causing a number of teenagers to fall into the water below.

The water level in the river below the bridge was higher than usual with strong currents after torrential downpours pounded the Bengkulu region at the southern end of Sumatra.

“Some managed to save themselves but 10 others could not fight against the current and drowned, they were swept away” Ujang Syafiri of the disaster mitigation agency told the AFP news agency, adding that the bridge may have collapsed due to excessive weight.

A search and rescue team scoured a 20km radius to find a teenager who is still missing, he said.

Another victim was rescued after falling into the river but is seriously injured and has been taken to hospital.

Parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago have received torrential downpours as the rainy season kicks into high gear.

In and around the capital Jakarta, some 67 people were killed this month as record rains triggered flooding and landslides.

Lax construction standards have raised widespread concerns about building and construction safety in Indonesia.

- © AFP 2020

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