Vandalism blamed for Madang bridge collapse

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Official from the Works Department in Madang has said vandalism is the main reason behind the chaos at the Madang-Usino Highway yesterday when Menia Bridge tilted to one side.
The Menia Bridge on the Madang side tilted to one side causing difficulties for vehicles to cross.
Heavy rain on Wednesday night flooded the Menia River and forced the bridge to tilt after the stones in the gabion baskets were washed away by flood.
Madang Works manager Andrew Kendaura expressed his frustration over the disaster, claiming that vandalism was involved.
“People used pliers to cut the gabion baskets to allow flood to wash away the stone walls at the foundation of the bridge,” Kendaura said.
“Some people deliberately do this for their own benefit.”
He said the bridge was fixed few weeks ago after a similar problem and it happened again.
Kendaura said police in Ramu had identified some suspects.
Vehicles and passengers queued at both sides of the bridge yesterday. Others cancelled their trips while some looked for alternate routes to get to the other side.
Usino Bundi MP Jimmy Uguro said he informed Works Secretary David Wereh and would see the bridge is fixed.
Ugoro said he would also request police to investigate the act of vandalism in the area and those involved would be dealt with.
Kendaura said a contractor was engaged to begin work on the bridge.

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