A bridge at a luxury resort in Batam collapsed on Thursday, injuring 26 Singaporeans, because too many people stood at the same time on a "concentrated area", said the hotel yesterday.
It disputed earlier reports citing the Riau Islands provincial police spokesman as saying that the bridge likely collapsed as its foundations were decaying.
"Findings from the preliminary investigation show that unlike previously reported, the legs and foundation remain intact," said Montigo Resorts Nongsa, the hotel where the incident happened.
The resort provided photos showing that the legs and foundation of the bridge were intact even after the incident. Montigo Resorts added that the bridge, which is 3m above sea level, was serviced this year and undergoes checks regularly. It was built in 2012.
Some 30 employees from community self-help group Mendaki were taking a group photo on the bridge when it collapsed, resulting in 26 of them falling into a shallow part of the sea. In all, nearly 100 Mendaki employees had gone to the hotel to discuss work plans for next year.
The entire group returned to Singapore yesterday. Four went to Changi General Hospital to seek further treatment.
Montigo Resorts said it was "deeply regretful" over the matter, and that it takes the incident very seriously.
"More checks and a full investigation are ongoing at the moment. In the meantime, warning signs have been placed near the accident zone," it said. "We are cooperating with the local authorities and the police, and apologise for any inconvenience caused."
The bridge will be fully repaired to ensure it is robust for future guests, it added. The resort also said that the bridge is meant only for transient passage and the 30 people who stood on it were beyond its capacity.
"The original plan for the group was to take photos... at the sand park, not on the bridge," Ms Leny Suparman, group chief executive of KOP Limited, said at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, where the Mendaki employees arrived from Batam. KOP owns Montigo Resorts.
While she could not say what the exact capacity for the bridge was, she said having 30 people at one point of the structure could have been too much for it. The bridge leads to a jetty.
"Of course, we encourage people to go to the jetty - it's very beautiful - but it's something that we are looking further into, to ensure that it is even more sturdy," she said, adding that the resort changed the bridge's materials with new wood in the last few months.
Lim Min Zhang