Five injured in bridge rooftop collapse

Five injured in bridge rooftop collapse
Motorists gathering to look at the collapsed roof and railings of a pedestrian bridge.

JOHOR BARU - A 40m-long roof covering a concrete pedestrian bridge located at the busy Pasir Gudang Highway here was torn off from its foundation during a thunderstorm.

The impact of the collapsing rooftop, with its railings still intact, injured five people.

A driver, who only wanted to be known as Tan, in his 30s, said he was heading towards Tampoi to pick up his wife at 4.30pm yesterday.

"I heard a loud bang, and the next thing I knew, something heavy had fallen on my car roof, narrowly missing my head.

"Then I saw the whole roof of the bridge in front of me and I quickly broke my car window to escape," he said when met at the scene.

The damaged rooftop blocked the road, which caused a congestion which lasted for three hours, including at roads leading to Pasir Gudang and Skudai.

Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) engineering department director Sulaiman Mohamad Taib said that about 25 personnel members from various government agencies were rushed to the scene to clear the debris.

"The 40m-long bridge rooftop flew about 50m away from its foundation due to a storm that hit several areas in the state," he said, adding that the bridge was built in 2008.

Losses due to the damaged bridge was estimated at RM100,000 (S$39,000).

Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Development exco Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the incident was the first of its kind in the state.

"A large billboard which was installed on the bridge could have contributed to the collapse.

"We estimate that about RM300,000 (S$117,000) will be needed to rebuild it. The bridge had undergone two safety checks every year, as required in the SOP," he added.

Hasni said the authorities will check similar bridges in the state to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.

He added that the law requires companies to submit their applications to the local authorities before they could install billboards on pedestrian bridges.

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