Probe into Jakarta stock exchange walkway collapse

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JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesian investigators were sifting through the rubble at Jakarta’s stock exchange complex yesterday as they looked for clues to what caused a walkway collapse that left scores injured, including dozens of visiting university students.

A mezzanine floor at the tower in the city’s business district crashed to the ground shortly before lunchtime on Monday, injuring 73 people, police said. There were no deaths.

Dramatic CCTV footage showed a group of about 40 students on a balcony section plunge as the floor gave way with a cascade of glass, metal and other material showering the ground floor where several other people were walking.

National police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said the investigation team was hoping to gather crucial evidence by the end of yesterday, though the results of their probe will not be known for several weeks.

Investigators will look at building material quality and the site’s structural integrity, said Mushanif Mukti, a top official at the Association of Construction Safety and Health Experts.

“It needs to be examined to see whether it is structural fatigue or it’s a weight issue,” he said.

Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan has ordered an inspection of the complex, which was last checked in May last year.

Most of the injuries were broken bones, Mr Wasisto said, adding that none was life-threatening.

“We have questioned a few witnesses … (including) security officers, students, friends of those injured and employees who work there. It’s ongoing,” he said.

About a dozen people have been released from hospital.

The injured university students were from Palembang on Indonesia’s Sumatra island. Many of their parents are demanding compensation for the accident.

“I want my daughter to be sent here to Palembang to get treatment,” mother Irma Yanti said as she burst into tears. “I was informed that her leg was broken.”

The bourse held a moment of silence to honour those injured yesterday.

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