Indonesia bourse holds minute's silence for injured in floor collapse

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JAKARTA The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) observed a minute's silence at the start of trading yesterday for the more than 70 people injured when a mezzanine floor in the building suddenly collapsed.

No deaths were reported from the collapse on Monday, but dozens of people, many of them university students who had been visiting the exchange, are being treated in hospitals.

Bourse officials said the rest of the building complex was operating normally.

"Main structure-wise, this building has no problem," said Mr Samsul Hidayat, a director at the IDX.

The high-rise building, constructed in the late 1990s, is part of a two-tower complex in the heart of Jakarta's financial district and houses dozens of offices.

It was the target of a car bombing by Islamist militants in September 2000. Police have ruled out a bomb as a cause of Monday's collapse.

The second tower was reopened for business yesterday, with the parts of the floor that were still intact propped up by makeshift columns.

Some employees felt nervous about going to work.

"I am so wary. I work underneath the bridge," said receptionist Nur Septi Febriananda, referring to another part of the same mezzanine floor that fell.

A forensics team is combing through the rubble for clues as to why the walkway, which overlooks the main lobby, crumpled without warning, said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan has ordered an "audit" of the building, which was inspected by the authorities in May last year.

A group of nearly 100 university students were on the mezzanine floor when it gave way, and many fell one storey to the lobby. Several students are being treated for broken bones and concussion.

Safety standards are often loosely enforced in Indonesia. Last year, a fire that ripped through a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Jakarta killed around 50 people. A police investigation found multiple safety violations.

The IDX operated normally yesterday, with the year's first listing going ahead as scheduled.- REUTERS