Wake up call: An Australian-flag APC Aussie 1 barge ship hits a section of the famous Barelang Bridge in Batam, Riau Islands, at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The crash has forced local authorities to close the Raja Kecik Bridge, also known as Bridge VI, thus isolating residents of the Galang Baru and Abang Islands from the main island of Batam. (JP/Fadli)
An Australian-flag barge ship hit a section of the famous Barelang Bridge in Batam, Riau Islands, at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, isolating residents of Galang Baru and Abang Islands from the main island of Batam.
Batam Free Trade Zone spokesman Dwi Djoko Wiwoho confirmed the incident on Wednesday and added that reports of damages and casualties or injuries were not yet available.
He said the APC Aussie 1 ship, which had been laying up in Galang waters for the past year, was allegedly swayed by the current and hit a section of Barelang Bridge, which is known as Raja Kecik Bridge or Bridge VI.
The ship was used to support off-shore oil and gas drilling operations, housing workers and serving as a helicopter landing platform.
The Australian Embassy could not provide immediate confirmation about the ship's ownership.
The crash destroyed one side of the two-way bridge that connects the Galang Baru Islands to Galang Island in the northwest, forcing local authorities to close both sides of the bridge.
A police line has been put in place to prevent local residents crossing the bridge.
The crash has caused anger among local residents because the closure of the bridge has particularly isolated residents of Galang Baru Island and Abang Island, which is situated in the southwest of Galang Baru Island.
There are 600 and 461 households in Galang Baru and Abang Islands, respectively.
“The bridge is quite vital for Abang Island residents to sell their catches and to send their kids to school [to another island],” Abang Island subdistrict head Nazaruddin said. (mtq)