Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Public Works Ministry has found a number of weaknesses at the knot point between the vertical and main cables of the Kutai Kartanegara (Kukar) bridge which collapsed over the Mahakam River in East Kalimantan last Saturday.

"A team of the ministry`s research and development division has taken samples of the bridge`s steel structure to the laboratory of the Bandung-based Institute of Technology (ITB)," Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto told the press here on Thursday.

He said samples of the steel parts at the knot point of the bridge`s cables would be examined, including testing the quality of its materials. The purpose was to determine whether the quality of the materials met the required standards and specifications.

"When the incident (bridge collapse) happened it was that point which was the weakest one. But it should still be examined in the laboratory because up to now the question of why it broke has yet to be answered," he said.

The minister said the cause of the collapse of the 710-meter bridge was still a question mark. "There is a strong suspicion the bridge collapsed due to an overload which caused the cables to break allowing the whole structure to sag," he said.

The Kukar bridge which spanned 710 meters over the Mahakam River collapsed last Saturday, killing at least 20 people.

The bridge which was commissioned ten years ago is the longest suspended bridge in Indonesia with a suspended section of 270 meters.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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