Collapsed bridge death
toll rises to 19

The number of dead victims found at the location of the collapsed bridge in Tenggarong, Kutai Kertanegara, East Kalimatan on Wednesday afternoon was recorded at 19.

One more body was found on Wednesday at around 1 pm local time in the Loa Kulu area, Kutai Kartangara District, or over five kilometers from the collapsed bridge, an officer of the incident command post, said here on Wednesday.

"The body of one more victim of the collapsed bridge has just been found, and it is now at the morgue of Partikesit Hospital in Tenggarong for identification," the officer said.

Of the 40 injured victims, three were still being treated at Parikesit Hospital.

Hours of after the tragedy last Saturday, President Yudhoyono had ordered related parties to immediately investigate the cause of the collapse of the 10-year-old Kutai Kartanegara bridge.

The 700-m long bridge over the Mahakam river in East Kalimantan province collapsed at 4.30 pm on Saturday causing a number of vehicles to fall into the river.

In order to reveal the causes behind the accident which killed at least 19 people and injured tens of others, the government was urged to set up an independent team of experts that could work professionally and determine the causes of the tragedy.

"Certain parties should be held responsible for the collapse of the bridge and in this case the government should set up an independent team to investigate it," Malkan Amin of the House Commission V on transportation affairs said on Wednesday.

Spanning 710 meters over the Mahakam River, the bridge is the longest suspended bridge in Indonesia with a suspended section of 270 meters.

The names of several companies have been mentioned in the media as having participated in the bridge`s construction. PT Perencana Jaya was said to have served as consultant on the project, PT Hutama Karya as the main contractor and PT Bukaka Teknik Utama as provider of maintenance services.

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