Dedek Hendry and Kharishar Kahfi
Nine people have been confirmed dead in seven villages across Kaur regency in Bengkulu after a suspension bridge in Bungin Tambun III village in the regency collapsed on Sunday afternoon on account of a flash flood hitting the area.
Apart from the casualties, the local search and rescue team also recorded that a local identified as Ipan was still unaccounted for.
“We launch a search and rescue mission today and tomorrow to look for the missing person. We’ll look for him at the mouth of the river,” Bengkulu Search and Rescue Agency head Abdul Malik told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
He added that the bridge collapsed might have not been the only cause of death but also the high-flowing river. Some were also reportedly hit by rocks and other materials in the water.
Kaur Disaster Mitigation Agency head Ujang Safiri said authorities suspected that the bridge collapsed on account of carrying heavy loads. The agency estimated around 30 people were on the bridge when it collapsed.
“According to information we obtained, they were spending their free time on the bridge at the time of the incident. Some of them are junior and high school students,” Ujang said.
According to a statement from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), another 17 people survived the incident. A local disaster mitigation agency had set up a rescue post at the location.
The agency said the flash flood was caused by extreme weather and rainfall intensity. Authorities are still estimating the financial loss caused by the incident.