Jakarta / At least 70 injured after floor collapses at Indonesia Stock Exchange

By: Thomas Brent - Posted on: January 16, 2018 | Current Affairs

Many of the injured were university students who were visiting the capital city’s stock exchange and just happened to be standing on the mezzanine when it collapsed

Rescuers operate at the Jakarta Stock Exchange after a part of the floor of the exchange building collapsed in Indonesia on 15 January 2018 Photo: Adi Weda/EPA

At least 70 people were injured following the collapse of a mezzanine floor at the Jakarta Stock Exchange in Indonesia on Monday.

The floor overlooking the lobby was said to have given way suddenly without more warning sign than what one employee working at the reception desk described as a “loud cracking sound,” Channel News Asia reported.

“I heard a loud cracking sound. I saw a lady unconscious stuck under slab of concrete,” said Megha Kapoor during an interview with Channel News Asia.

Many of the injured were university students who were visiting the capital city’s stock exchange and just so happened to be standing on the floor when it collapsed around midday.

“There was a rumbling noise but it wasn’t an explosion. It was like something had fallen, and suddenly the floor we were standing on fell away,” Alfita, 20, who uses one name was quoted to have said by Reuters, which reported that she escaped with just light bruises.

Reasons for the collapse are not yet known, but Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan told Reuters that the city would conduct an audit on the building.

“I have conveyed to the building’s management that the audit of the construction should start tonight so that the activities of the stock exchange are not disturbed,” Baswedan said, according to the AFP.

The two-tower building — where the stock exchange and many other financial institutions, including the World Bank, are housed — was last inspected in May.

It was also the site of a car bombing that was orchestrated by an Islamist militant group back in September 2000, though police have ruled out terrorism as a possible cause for Monday’s collapse, Reuters reported.

Those who sustained injuries remain in hospital, the spokesman for the Jakarta police told reporters on the scene.

“The accident happened at the first floor…it’s a floor where many employees pass through…there are some victims that have been taken to nearby hospital,” police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Channel News Asia.

 

Images of the collapsed floor circulating on social media show slabs of concrete, rubble and metal beams strewn across the lobby, which is usually a popular spot for tourists to grab a coffee and was said to be crowded at the time of the accident.

According to the Associated Press, the stock exchange reopened on Monday afternoon with general manager Tito Sulistio reassuring people on the matter, saying: “I guarantee that there were no fatalities. I helped evacuate the victims to the park and as far as I know, the worst injuries are fractures.”

Sulistio said he would pay for the students’ medical costs.

Safety standards at some of Indonesia’s public buildings do not meet high standards. Last year, a fire broke out inside a fireworks factory, leaving 50 people dead. A police investigation revealed the factory had violated several safety measures.

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