BANDA ACEH, Indonesia – Twelve Indonesian children died when a suspension bridge collapsed as they were taking part in a traditional ceremony to dispel bad luck, an official said Monday.
The accident took place Sunday in a remote village in Aceh province, Sumatra island, district chief Ibnu Hasyim said.
“There were about 37 kids gathered together on a wire-cable suspension bridge when it collapsed and they fell into a river,” he told AFP.
Twenty-five children were rescued with minor injuries but 12 others, all below the age of 12, were swept away in the strong currents.
The children were watching a ritual ceremony to dispel misfortune after a measles outbreak in the area.
“The adults were throwing offerings in the form of chickens into the river” when the bridge collapsed, the official said.