GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - There was pandemonium on the Penang Bridge when vehicles heading towards the island had their tyres punctured by pieces of sharp metal strewn along km 6.6 of the link.
The tyres of at least 10 cars and seven motorcycles were damaged in the incident, according to a Facebook page that highlights issues in Penang.
The affected motorists stopped their vehicles in the 8.30am incident on Saturday (Oct 8), creating a short jam.
Workers from Malaysian highway operator PLUS Malaysia Berhad cleared the metal off the bridge and also helped the motorists change their tyres.
Some of the motorists vented their anger online. One motorcyclist said he nearly fell on the road and risked being run over by a lorry after his front tyre was punctured by a metal shard.
"PLUS should take responsibility and compensate me for the damage," he said.
Other Facebook users concurred, saying PLUS should compensate those affected as it managed the bridge and should have cleared the metal pieces earlier.
A Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) spokesman said the concessionaire received reports from six drivers and two motorcyclists whose vehicles were involved in the incident.
"We cleared the metal pieces by 10.30am. The pieces could have been debris that fell from a vehicle and it doesn't look like a deliberate attempt by anyone to cause damage to the vehicles of bridge users," a PBSB spokesman said.
"An investigation will be conducted. It is still too early to come to any conclusion."
State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said PLUS should be allowed to conduct its investigation and come out with its conclusion.
"There have been similar incidents. Some time ago, a syndicate threw metal debris on the bridge and later charged exorbitant prices to repair the tyres of vehicles involved."