ZAMBOANGA City Mayor Celso Lobregat has ordered the City Engineer's Office to reconstruct the bridge in Sitio Tawi-Tawi, Barangay Taluksangay that collapsed on New Year's Eve due to overloading.

Lobregat has also ordered Francisco Barredo, head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), to closely monitor the victims and provide free medical assistance and free confinement in the hospital.

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The tragedy occurred shortly before midnight on December 31, as some 50 people flocked the wooden hanging foot-bridge to view the fireworks display being held in the downtown area.

The hanging bridge, which has the capacity of only eight people, gave way, causing the freak accident that resulted in the death of two people. Six others were injured and hospitalized.

Killed were Nurwina Jul-arsi, 16, and Hassan Asnalun, 20 years old.

Injured were Ibnal Barra, 18; Anas Asnalon, 26; Arnold Asnalon, 24; Ambri Halilula, 16; Alyaser Alim, 16; and, Elias Romon, 16.

The City Government provided the immediate financial and relief assistance to the victims, including a free burial of the dead.

Three of the six wounded are still confined at the Zamboanga City Medical Center for treatment.

The City Government assistance's to the victims included cash aid, rice, assorted noodles and mineral water.

Lobregat said the hanging bridge should be restored the soonest possible time as it is the only facility that allows the transport of goods and services from the mainland to Sitio Tawi-tawi in Barangay Taluksangay.

The hanging bridge was constructed in 1992 and underwent minor repair in 2004.

The City Government is allocating P2 million for the construction of a concrete-type of footbridge.

Personnel from the City Engineer's Office proceeded Monday to Taluksangay to make the necessary preparations for the construction of the new bridge. (Bong Garcia)