NATION

We Saw Bridge Collapse Under Truck’s Weight: Men

Two men recalled yesterday how they saw the Maururu Bridge in Ba collapse under the weight of a fully-laden truck. Driver Josaia Nakuila, 35, said: “I was walking to the
12 Jul 2017 11:00
We Saw Bridge Collapse  Under Truck’s Weight: Men
The scene at Maururu Bridge in Ba on July 11, 2017. Photo: Shahani Mala

Two men recalled yesterday how they saw the Maururu Bridge in Ba collapse under the weight of a fully-laden truck.

Driver Josaia Nakuila, 35, said: “I was walking to the highway to catch a bus when I saw the truck coming inside the Maururu Rd.

“As soon as the truck reached the Maururu Bridge it collapsed. Things happened so fast.

“The truck driver was struggling to exit the truck. We rushed and freed him.”

Mr Nakuila said the driver sustained minor injuries and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Another eyewitness, Wafazul Gani, 63, said: “It was between 11 am to 12 pm when I was on my way to tend to my goat when I saw the truck loaded with gravel coming into Maururu Road.

“All of a sudden the truck stopped at the bridge and it collapsed.

“Luckily, there were some people on the road who quickly went to help the driver.

“The Maururu Road is closed and people living in this area will now have difficulties. I hope that Fiji Roads Authority would repair the bridge as soon as possible.”

FRA has asked people to use Natuyabia Road after the Maururu Rd was closed.

FRA’s acting chief executive officer Robert Sen said: “FRA engineers and their contractor, Higgins, are currently on site to assess the extent of damage and to identify temporary access until the bridge is repaired.

“It was reported to us that the bridge collapsed as a truck carrying supplies was crossing over the structure,” he said.

Mr Sen said the two steel beams of this bridge had badly twisted and would need replacement.

“The FRA will communicate repair timelines as soon as we conclude investigations,” he said.

A sugarcane farmer Anil Chandra, 61, said: “I am really worried now of how will I transport my harvested cane to Rarawai Mill.

“There are many sugarcane farmers in this area who must be wondering how they would transport their harvested sugarcane to Rarawai Sugar Mill.

“This is the second time this bridge has collapsed. The first time when this bridge collapsed, it was repaired in two days but this time it’s very difficult to say.”

Another resident, Gulag Nab, 67, said: “Although there is an alternative road for people to travel but I doubt if Public Service Vehicles (PSV) would use that route because that area is too hilly.”

Resident Jitendra Lal, 46 said: “School students and working people will be affected a lot.

“The buses always come inside the Maururu Road but now we do not have any idea how they would reach their destination.”

Residents are also being hit by a water problem.

Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) said: “The interruption in supply is a result of a burst main at Maururu, Ba.

“The Authority is kindly advising its customers residing in the areas above to use water wisely for their immediate needs during this temporary disruption period.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 

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