Selfie-strained Batam pier splinters, sending Singaporeans into sea

Singaporeans during bridge collapse at Indonesia’s Batam resort. Photos: Tribun
Singaporeans during bridge collapse at Indonesia’s Batam resort. Photos: Tribun

Twenty-six Singaporeans were injured when a pier they were standing on collapsed yesterday at a popular resort on the Indonesian island of Batam.

Those injured were among a large crowd taking selfies on the 70-meter wooden pier at Montigo Resorts when a small section of it gave way at about 4pm (5pm Singapore), sending more than 30 people plunging into shallow water about 4 meters below, according to multiple media reports. 

“There was a group of tourists from Singapore at the time. About 60 tourists were taking photos on the pier. But the stilts of the wooden pier were old and caused it to collapse [sic],” a local police official, Erlangga, told Batam Today. One person fractured an ankle while another broke a rib, the report added, but it is not clear if the two were from Singapore.

All have returned to Singapore this morning, where two with more serious injuries were hospitalized for further treatment.

Singapore’s foreign ministry told reporters it was aware of the incident and that officers were rendering consular assistance at Batam’s Bhayangkara Hospital. 

The Yayasan Mendaki, or Council for the Development of the Singapore Malay/Muslim Community, confirmed today that the 26 Singaporeans involved were its employees. The group was supposed to be at the resort for a retreat. 

Twenty-four of those with minor injuries were already discharged, Channel NewsAsia reported. Another two were seeking further treatment in Singapore. 

The Singaporeans were taking a group photo on the pier before the incident happened, photos and videos by Tribun show. Some who had difficulty walking required help to get back on shore. 

One scene showed what looked like a Singaporean woman being brought out of a hospital in a wheelchair.

A video of the Singaporeans returning home this morning also showed an ambulance at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal waiting to ferry the injured to hospitals for further treatment. 

Batam is a popular getaway island for Singaporeans seeking cheap food, shopping, and villas. It’s only about an hour by ferry from the Lion City, and Montigo Resorts is one of many popular places to stay. 

Singaporean Scott Chiang, who was at the resort when the collapse happened, posted a photo of the pier with the damaged section covered. 

“Thanks friends and family for checking up on me. I’m safe and sound, didn’t even know the bridge collapsed. Was in the villa all afternoon,” he wrote, joining the many who mistook a pier for a bridge.

Instagram post by Singaporean Scott Chiang.

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