Image: People search for other victims after a bride collapsed in the town of Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Spot Community  /  AFP - Getty Images
People search for victims after a bridge collapsed in the town of Samarinda, East Kalimantan, on Indonesia's Borneo island Saturday. staff and news service reports
updated 11/26/2011 9:37:46 AM ET 2011-11-26T14:37:46

Rescue teams searched for survivors Sunday after a busy bridge collapsed in central Indonesia, sending a bus, cars and motorcycles crashing into the river below. Four people were killed and scores more were missing.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country's disaster management agency, said the sprawling concrete bridge on the remote island of Borneo was being repaired when Saturday's accident occurred.

Workers were tightening screws and bolts when a steel support cable snapped and the bridge, which was less than 10 years old, came smashing down.

Four bodies were pulled from the Mahakam river, including a 6-month-old baby, and 19 people were rushed to the hospital with injuries, said police Capt. Syafii Nafsikin.

Many people — including six of the repair workers — were missing.

The 770-yard structure — built to resemble the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco — linked the towns of Tenggarong and Samarinda in East Kalimantan province.

Syaiful, a witness, told local television station TVOne that he saw at least one bus and a dozen motorcycles plunge into the river. Several cars were badly mangled.

"Everyone was screaming," said Syaiful, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. "Survivors were swimming to the shore in panic."

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered government ministers to the scene to oversee search-and-rescue operations. He also called for a full investigation into the cause of the collapse.

The Indonesia Today website reported about 100 people were taken to hospital.

It carried a photograph that showed how a section of the large suspension bridge had fallen into the water.

The website said that the 0.6-mile bridge was known locally as "Kalimantan's Golden Gate Bridge."

Indonesia Today reported the bridge was built between 1995 and 2001 by state-owned construction firm PT Hutama Karya.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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