Hotels

Dozens of guests at five-star hotel fall into ocean after bridge collapse

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

At least 26 guests at a five-star hotel in Indonesia have fallen into the ocean as a result of a collapsed bridge.

The group, which formed part of a cohort of business travellers visiting from Singapore, were allegedly taking photos on Montigo Resorts Nongsa’s recreational jetty when a section of it fell into the sea.

“Out of the group of more than 30 hotel guests who were taking group photos on the jetty at the material time, about 26 fell into the shallow part of the sea,” Montigo Resorts Nongsa confirmed in a statement.

Following the incident, which occurred on Thursday, all 26 guests were taken to the hospital in Batam, where 24 were discharged immediately. Two guests, however, suffered fractures from their fall, and will require further medical assistance in Singapore.

The group were reportedly among 100 staff from community self-help group Yayasan Mendaki visiting the resort in Batam City on a company retreat. Of these, 30 were taking a group photo on the bridge on Thursday afternoon (local time) when the collapse occurred, which saw 26 of them fall into a shallow section of ocean.

Following the incident, a spokesperson from the Riau Islands provincial police told local media that the wooden foundations of the bridge had “probably decayed” and lead to the bridge’s collapse, despite images later emerging that showed the legs of the bridge still intact.

The five-star hotel maintains that the foundations of the jetty are intact, and that the collapse of the bridge – reportedly built in 2012 – was caused by too many people standing on a section of it at once when it was meant to be “a casual transient passage”.

“The management of Montigo Resorts Nongsa takes this incident very seriously,” Montigo Resorts Nongsa said. “Findings from the preliminary investigation show that the legs and foundation of the jetty remain intact.

“The jetty was also serviced this year and undergoes routine checks regularly. More checks and a full investigation are ongoing at the moment.”

In the meantime, warning signs have been placed near the accident zone, while a full repair will occur to ensure that the jetty is “even more robust” for the safety of guests, the resort said.

“The management of Montigo Resorts Nongsa is cooperating with the local authorities and police on the incident,” the resort said. “They apologise for any inconvenience caused and are looking into all the well-being of their guests during this time.”

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