Three people were killed after falling off a railway bridge in the Indonesian city of Surabaya on Friday evening in an extremely tragic yet seemingly totally avoidable incident.
The victims were part of a crowd that had gathered to watch an outdoor theater reenactment of the historic Battle of Surabaya on National Heroes Day, as is tradition in the East Java capital. In video footage showing the scene, it appears that dozens of people had climbed up onto a nearby railway overpass to get a better view of the theater stage.
Then, as a train was passing over the overpass — albeit at a slowed down speed — several people fell off the elevated railway, resulting in three deaths and at least 20 injured.
(Warning: Disturbing content)
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, but Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini has already said the victims won’t receive financial compensation from the city administration because, according to her, the reenactment was carried out without a city permit.
“Last year it was clear [the reenactment had a permit], but I’m not talking about last year — this year there wasn’t one.”
Even so, Risma said that the city would cover the costs of medical care for the injured victims and the East Java Provincial Government has already agreed to provide financial compensation to all of the victims.
Contradicting Risma, the event organizers claim that they had obtained a permit from the police
State-owned train company PT KAI said blame couldn’t be placed on the train’s machinist because he couldn’t have stopped the train.
“The machinist tried to brake and decelerated the train to a speed of 20 kilometer per hour. The normal speed for a train on the overpass is 30 kilometer per hour, so [the machinist didn’t have time to] suddenly brake the train to a halt,” PT KAI Surabaya spokesperson Gatut Sutiyatmoko told reporters, as quoted by RMOL.
Gatut added that the law clearly forbids anyone from trespassing on a railway.
No arrests have been made in relation to this incident so far.