Two minors rescued after falling off 15-year-old hanging bridge in Talisay
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two minors, a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, were rescued and rushed to the hospital after they fell off a hanging bridge in Barangay Lagtang, Talisay City and into the onrushing waters of a river at the height of the downpour this afternoon, July 17, 2022.
Jonathan Joy Tumulak, chief of the City of Talisay Traffic Operations and Development Authority (CT-TODA), said the two victims were among a group of 10 to 15 minors, who went to the bridge to watch the flood of water rushing in the river below at past 4 p.m. on a rainy Sunday in Barangay Lagtang.
The hanging bridge connects Barangay Lagtang and Barangay Lawaan 3.
He said the accident happened when apparently a cable supporting the bridge loosened causing the bridge which is made of wood and cables, to tilt to one side.
Most of the minors on the bridge except the two victims managed to scramble to safety.
Tumulak said that the bridge was 10 feet from the river below.
“Pagkahitabo, kusug ang uwan. Mga bata, more or less 10 to 15 diha sa hanging bridge gatan-aw sa baha sa wa pa mahitabo [accident]. Kalit mibigay ang usa ka kable nga gahigot sa bridge, side sa Lawaaan 3,” Tumulak said.
(The accident happened at the height of a downpour. The kids, more or less 10 to 15 of them, were at the hanging bridge watching the flood of water below the bridge before this happened [accident]. One cable on the bridge suddenly gave way, this was on the Lawaan 3 side.)
According to Tumulak, they received the alarm at 4:20 p.m. and they immediately called an ambulance, and they (CT-TODA personnel) were the first to respond there and rescue the victims.
The hanging bridge is not passable for now after this was cordoned for everyone’s safety.
Tumulak said that they immediately informed the village captains of the these barangays regarding the incident.
Some village watchers or barangay tanods are ensuring that no one passes through the bridge for now.
For his part, Lawaan 3 Barangay Captain Regie Marababol said that the hanging bridge had been used by the public for about 15 years or more.
Marababol said that last year, 2021, they requested that this hanging bridge must be checked by the city’s Department of Public Works and Highways engineer.
He said that this was actually inspected at that time.
“Sa kadaghan sa mga bata, usahay basta mag-uwan man gud, or magabie, amo gyud na badlungon kay mag standby gyud na diha. So ganina, sa ka daghan, kusog kayng uwan mutan-aw sa baha, mao tong nibigay na, gamay na kaayo nabilin nga kable ang usa ka pikas nga pondasyun niya. Mao to natagak ang mga bata ngadto,” he added.
(With the many kids hanging out there, sometimes, when it is raining or at night, we would tell them not to stay there. So what happened earlier, because of the many kids at the height of the rain on the bridge, one of the cables gave way, because only a small part of that cable was still connected to the foundation. That is why the kids fell.)
This bridge already underwent repair last 2007, Marababol said.
He also added that this was the best access for the residents to reach Barangay Lagtang and vice-versa. This is also a practical way for the public to save money as they would only walk instead of paying for transportation to go to the next barangay.
Marababol said that they already talked with the engineer of the city’s DPWH and the latter said that they would check the hanging bridge tomorrow.
The bridge is closed until further notice.
“Sa highway lang sa guro muagi. Musakay lang usa og tricycle mutuyok sa Tabunok. If ever, kung ang tubig kay dili kaayo taas, pwede sila makalabang sa sapa kung ganahan gyud sila. Pero karon man gud naay gihimo nga flood control ang DPWH, murag lisod na gyud ilabang sa uban,” Marababol added.
(They would just have to use the highway. They would just have to use a tricycle and go the roundabout way to Tabunok. If ever, the water in the river is not that high, then they can cross the river if they like. But for now, the DPWH is doing something about flood control and it would be difficult to cross the river for others.)
After this incident, Marababol appeals to the residents to always be careful, especially if there is a heavy downpour to avoid further accidents from happening.
He was not only limiting to what just happened but also with possible flood and landslides in the area.
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