Investigators probe cause of Jakarta stock exchange walkway collapse

Indonesian policemen stand guard outside the building of Bursa Efek Jakarta of the Stock Exchange after one part of it collapsed in Jakarta on January 15, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Investigators probe cause of Jakarta stock exchange walkway collapse

JAKARTA: Indonesian investigators were sifting through the rubble at Jakarta’s stock exchange complex Tuesday as they looked for clues on what caused a walkway collapse that left scores injured, including dozens of students.
A mezzanine floor at the tower in the sprawling city’s business district collapsed shortly before lunchtime Monday, injuring a total of 73 people, police said, adding that there were no deaths.
Dramatic CCTV footage showed a group of about 40 visiting students on a balcony section plunge as the floor gave way with a cascade of glass, metal and other material crashing onto the ground floor where several others were walking.
National police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said the investigation team is hoping to gather crucial evidence by the end of Tuesday, though the results of the probe will not be known for several weeks.
Officials have described the collapse as an accident and not the result of an explosion — the tower was bombed by Islamist militants in 2000.
“If they (investigators) are done today, everything can be cleaned up and the...scene can be re-opened,” Wasisto told AFP.
“Some tenants are a bit cautious even though building management said it’s safe. They are also going to check the other mezzanine floor today.”
Most of the injuries were broken bones, Wasisto said, adding that none were life-threatening.
A dozen people have so far been released from the hospital.
The damaged area remained closed off Tuesday but trading carried on as usual.
After the accident, which took place in one of the two towers in the stock exchange complex, the lobby was filled with debris and toppled-over plants near a Starbucks coffee outlet. The tower was built in the mid-nineties.
Hundreds of panicked employees were evacuated from the building, which also houses the local office of the World Bank.
“I would like to reiterate, it was an accident. It has nothing to do with a bomb or terrorism,” Wasisto said.
At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured by a car bomb in the 2000 attack.
Some 200 cars were also damaged in the blast which happened in an underground parking lot.


UK PM says open to longer post-Brexit transition

Updated 5 min 32 sec ago
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UK PM says open to longer post-Brexit transition

  • EU negotiator Michel Barnier raised the idea as a way of breaking the deadlock on how to keep Britain’s border with Ireland open after Brexit
  • “A further idea that has emerged — and it is an idea at this stage — is to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months,” says May

BRUSSELS: Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Thursday that Britain would consider extending the transition period after Brexit for a few months if needed to agree on a new trade deal with the EU.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier raised the idea as a way of breaking the deadlock on how to keep Britain’s border with Ireland open after Brexit, the key issue holding up the divorce talks.
But May emphasized she did not expect the extension beyond the current date of December 2020 to be needed, amid anger among eurosceptics at home that Britain could be tied to the EU indefinitely.
Arriving for the second day of summit talks in Brussels, May noted that both sides remained at odds over a “backstop” plan to avoid frontier checks in Ireland if and until a new trade deal could be signed.
“A further idea that has emerged — and it is an idea at this stage — is to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months,” she said.
“But the point is that this is not expected to be used, because we are working to ensure that we have that future relationship in place by the end of December 2020.
“I’m clear that it is possible to do that (deal) and that is what we are working for.
“And in those circumstances there would be no need for any proposal of this sort and I’m clear that I expect the implementation period to end at the end of December 2020.”
The possibility of an extension made front-page news in Britain on Thursday and some euroskeptic MPs warned they could not accept such a plan.
The top-selling The Sun tabloid warned it was “an outrageous non-starter.”
“Unless she can give a date when we will leave the EU and ALL its major institutions she cannot claim to have fulfilled the referendum vote” in 2016 for Brexit, it said in an editorial.