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Nine killed, one missing in Indonesia bridge collapse

Indonesian people search for victims after a footbridge collapsed in Padangguci, Bengkulu on January 20, 2020. – Nine people drowned and another was missing after a bridge collapsed on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, the disaster agency said on January 20. (Photo by NOPRIANTO / AFP)

Nine people drowned and another was missing after a bridge collapsed on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, the disaster agency said Monday.

Some 30 people, mostly students, were on the bridge Sunday afternoon in the town of Kaur when the newly built crossing suddenly collapsed, hurtling some teens into the water below while others clutched on to the railing.

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, head of the disaster mitigation agency, told AFP, adding that the bridge may have collapsed due to excessive weight.

A search and rescue team scoured a 20-kilometre 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.

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