By Ye Khaung and Zaw Gyi, Photo : Zaw Min Latt
The Myaungmya suspension bridge collapsed early morning on 1 April 2018, when a 16-tonne six-wheel truck passed over the bridge. Therefore, efforts are being made to resume the normal flow of commodities with the cooperation of the Ayeyawady Region government, the local people, volunteers and donors. Following are excerpts from interviews conducted with authorities and the local people.
U Aung Kyaw Zeya, Township Administrator
The search-and-rescue work was conducted on the night of the accident. While carrying passengers and cars, we had to use the barges alternately and offer our services free of charge. Many people have come here to offer voluntary services, along with the staff from several departments, including transport, fire brigade, police forces and the traffic police force and inland water transport. Beside these departments, members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) have joined the search-and-rescue teams. A new bridge is being built following the collapse of the Myaungmya bridge. As a result, everyone has been affected, and efforts are being made to ensure the situation returns to normalcy.
U Tun Tun Oo, Chairman of Watercraft Committee
We have to raise awareness about the dangers of the bridge and issue some clarifications on the collapse of the bridge. Also, we sent some 6,000 passengers to the other side of the bridge during the first day of the accident. It was estimated that there were some 15,000 to 20,000 passengers in two days. Our committee, including the ministries concerned, the police force and NGOs, are trying their best to serve the local people.
U Nyi Nyi San, Township WTD manager
As for our water transport department, we render transport services to the local people three times a day. All the barge, together with the SEA Emperor barge used for the transport, are providing services free from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Man Tun Kyaing, a representative of Amyotha Hluttaw
We reached Myaungmya on 2 April 2018. There are many organisations and NGOs assisting the needy. We are trying to ensure a speedy flow of commodities in this area. Being a member of the Hluttaw, efforts are being made to build a new bridge for the local people.
U Soe Soe, businessman
We are finding it difficult to get easy access to transport services since the collapse of the Myaungmya bridge. So, we organised a group, raised a Ks1.5million-fund and sent the passengers across the river free of charge. We want to ensure passengers reach their respective destinations easily. We heard the authority concerned will form several committees for the convenience of the residents. We are cooperating with the relevant ministries and the NGOs as well. Currently, we are offering food, water and the necessary aid to the local residents.
Ko Lin Lin, travellor
Regarding the current condition of transport services, we can see that everything is fine mainly due to the efforts of the administrative bodies and well-wishers, who rendered voluntary services to the people. We are all obliged to them for their kindness and generosity. Moreover, the commodity flow is steady and the cost of living remains stable. We hope to build the new bridge as soon as possible.
Ko Thura Aung, Myaungmya Karuna Youth Volunteer group
We have helped passengers carry their luggage on to the barge since the bridge collapsed. We are happy to help the people at a time when they are facing obstacles.