JOHOR BARU, Feb 8, 2016:
A 50-metre bridge across Sungai Kopok which is the main access bridge for residents in Kampung Perigi Acheh, near Pasir Gudang, collapsed early this morning, leaving about 500 people stranded.
Village head, Saad Awang, said the 16-year-old bridge collapsed about 2am after the river rose sharply, with strong currents.
“The bridge was already bending over a period of five to six months and we had referred the matter to the relevant authorities including the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council.
“It should have been in the process of being repaired, but we did not expect the bridge to collapse so fast,” he told reporters at the scene today.
Saad said for now, they were looking for ways to provide an alternative route for the villagers to cross the river to go to town.
“We fear that in case of an emergency like what had happened this morning when an infant had breathing difficulties, we had to take the baby via the bridge on foot before taking a car on the other side of the bridge,” he said.
Most of the residents are affected by this incident because factory workers and school pupils in the area need to cross the bridge to get to their destinations.
“This evening, a military bridge will be installed. Meanwhile, the council will work with the Public Works Department to repair the damaged bridge,” said Tanjung Puteri Zone councillor, Syahrin Md Jamaluddin.
He said a free shuttle service was also being provided to facilitate travel for villagers comprising 200 families who were cut off because their vehicles were stranded in the village.