Four people are feared dead as the Second Penang Bridge in Malaysia collapsed on to their vehicle around 7 pm on Thursday. The incident took place at the Batu Maung section of the bridge which was under construction.
According to Malaysian Insider, police received a distress call at 7:05 pm and reached the spot in 15 minutes. According to police sources, the vehicle was passing along the road underneath the Batu Maung Interchange that connects Penang Bridge to Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway, when the section of the flyover between two beams collapsed.
Initial investigation led police to believe that four occupants of the vehicle had died immediately, while three others had been injured in the rubble. Rescue operations are still on to save those trapped under the debris. Authorities have closed the road following the incident.
Second Penang Bridge, also known as Jambatan Kedua Pulau Pinang in Malay, is a new bridge under construction in Penang which will connect Batu Kawan (on mainland Seberang Perai) and Batu Maung (on Penang Island). After Penang Bridge, it will become the second bridge to connect the island to the mainland. It is expected to become the second longest bridge in Malaysia and Southeast Asia measuring 24 km in length.
According to Malaysian Insider, a local contractor named Cergas Murni Sdn Bhd was overseeing the construction of the Batu Maung interchange. He was given the project in 2010 and took over the site on 19 May that year. The section where the collapse took place was to be inaugurated by next month.
"Construction works were ongoing when it happened but we have ordered immediate stop work on all construction works following the incident." said Azizi Azizan, Deputy Manager, Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) Public Relations and Communications Department, in an interview with Malaysian Insider. JKSB functions under the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and is the concessionaire of the Second Penang Bridge. The JKSB will issue a statement regarding the incident on Friday.