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Friday, 7 June 2013

2nd Penang Bridge ramp collapses, four in car feared dead!

A picture of rescue personnel at the scene of the collapse. Photo by Sim Tze Tzin.
GEORGE TOWN: An uncompleted flyover connecting to the still-under-construction second Penang bridge at Batu Maung collapsed at around 7pm Thursday, burying at least one car and a motorcycle under the debris.

Police fear that four people are dead after one car, a white-coloured Perodua Kelisa was found buried under the rubble.

State Fire and Rescue Department confirmed that one motorcyclist, who was earlier trapped under the debris, has been pulled out. He suffered injuries to his head.

Hundreds of firemen, volunteers and medical personnel from throughout the state have been mobilised to the scene.

Firemen are removing debris to reach the cars and motorcycles under the rubble, comprising mostly metal scaffolding and steel beams.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, who was on the scene, said about a 30m-long span of the ramp was believed to have collapsed around 7pm, as work to install concrete boulders to strengthen the structure was ongoing.

He said he was informed a few people may be trapped under the rubble.

State executive councillor Lim Hock Seng said the cause of the collapse had yet to be determined.

"We cannot confirm the cause of the accident," he said, adding that a full investigation would be carried out.

Police have began deploying traffic policemen as the incident has caused a severe jam to ensue near the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

Many motorists have also stopped to look at the debris.

As of 9:30pm Thusrday night, fire department authorities have briefed Sim and Lim.

R. Thilasheni, 24, whose car windscreen was shattered by a falling beam during the incident, was still in a state of shock.

"We were lucky to come out alive. We were only about three seconds away from when the ramp collapsed," she said.

She was travelling with her friend G. Gajashaantini, also 24.

She believed a motorcyclist was trapped under the rubble and said a beam fell onto a car in the incident.
The 24km-long bridge was set for completion next month.

The longest bridge in South-East Asia and 20th in the world was supposed to go through road commissioning and testing in August before being officially opened in September.


Related Stories:
Three injuries reported so far in Second Penang Bridge ramp collapse
Second Penang bridge not affected by ramp collapse, says JKSB spokeman