Indonesia stock exchange mishap: Probe underway after floor collapse left 73 injured in Jakarta

Jakarta: Indonesian investigators were sifting through the rubble at Jakarta's stock exchange complex on Tuesday as they looked for clues to what caused a walkway collapse that left scores injured, including dozens of students.

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

File image of the fallen structures inside the Jakarta Stock Exchange tower. AP

File image of the fallen structures inside the Jakarta Stock Exchange tower. AP

Dramatic CCTV footage showed a group of about 40 visiting 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 others were walking.

National police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said the investigation team is hoping to gather crucial evidence by the end of Tuesday, though the results of the 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 2017.

Officials have described the collapse as an accident and not the result of an explosion — the tower was bombed by Islamist militants in 2000.

"If they (investigators) are done today, everything can be cleaned up and the...scene can be re-opened," Wasisto told AFP.

"Some tenants are a bit cautious even though building management said it's safe. They are also going to check the other mezzanine floor today."

Broken bones

Most of the injuries were broken bones, 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.

A dozen people have so far been released from the hospital.

Enforcement of Indonesian safety standards can be spotty.

In October, a deadly blaze ripped through a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Jakarta, killing 48 workers in one of the country's worst industrial accidents in recent memory.

Police said the fire was caused by sparks from welding equipment.

At the exchange, the damaged area remained closed off Tuesday but trading carried on as usual.

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

After the accident, which happened in one of the two 1990s-built towers in the stock exchange complex, the lobby was filled with debris and toppled-over plants near a Starbucks outlet.

Hundreds of panicked employees were evacuated from the building, which also houses the local office of the World Bank.

Television images showed chaotic scenes as victims were taken to hospital or lay on the ground outside the tower complex.


Updated Date: Jan 16, 2018 13:46 PM

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