Eight killed in bridge collapse on Indonesian islands near Bali

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 October, 2016, 11:41pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 October, 2016, 11:44pm

A bridge connecting two small islands close to Bali collapsed on Sunday, sending motorbikes flying into the water and leaving eight dead and about 30 injured, an official said.

The suspension bridge linking Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, two small islands popular with tourists southeast of Indonesian holiday hot spot Bali, collapsed at 6.30pm (1030 GMT), said the disaster agency.

The narrow bridge can only be crossed by motorcyclists and pedestrians and was particularly busy at the time of the accident because people had been taking part in a Hindu ceremony at a nearby temple.

“Before the bridge collapsed it was already shaking,” said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“Some motorcyclists and people fell into the sea, and people in the area immediately tried to save them.”

Officials suspect it collapsed because it was overloaded, he added. Pictures showed the suspension bridge slumped in shallow water between the two islands.

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Nugroho said eight Indonesians died and 30 people were injured, including two who were seriously injured. Those wounded were taken to health centres.

The victims were all locals and no foreigners were involved, he said.

Local people had not reported anyone else missing but search and rescue teams would continue to scour the area early on Monday, he added.

Bali, a pocket of Hinduism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, is famed for its palm-fringed beaches and attracts millions of tourists every year.