Bridge collapse near Bali: Rescuers call off search for survivors

Indonesian rescuers have called off the search for more victims following the collapse of a bridge near Bali on Sunday evening as they have not received new reports of missing people.

Eight people were killed and 34 others wounded after the suspension bridge linking islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan off the holiday island's south-east coast snapped, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said in an update yesterday. It had put the death toll at nine on Sunday.

Seventeen motorcycles were also lifted from the waters.

The victim's bodies have been handed over to their families and the injured have returned home, the agency's spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, adding that all the victims were local residents.

Search-and-rescue workers were coordinating meetings on the repair of the 140m-long "Yellow Bridge", which is meant for pedestrians but often used by motorcycles, he added.

The 21-year-old suspension bridge connecting two small islands - Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan - near Bali that collapsed on Sunday evening, killing eight people and injuring 34 others.
The 21-year-old suspension bridge connecting two small islands - Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan - near Bali that collapsed on Sunday evening, killing eight people and injuring 34 others. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Several repairs had been carried out on the 21-year-old bridge previously. An inspection last Thursday found it to be in "critical" condition and unfit for use.

"Warning signage was put up but residents continued to use it as it's the only bridge connecting the two islands. There's no easy alternative," the spokesman said.

On Sunday, the bridge was crowded with people performing a religious ceremony to commemorate Nyepi, the Balinese "Day of Silence".

"We suspect (the bridge) was overloaded as there were many people and 17 motorcycles when it collapsed," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2016, with the headline 'Bridge collapse near Bali: Rescuers call off search for survivors'. Print Edition | Subscribe