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Capital Markets

More than 70 injured in Jakarta stock exchange balcony collapse

Bourse quickly resumes trading after hundreds evacuated

JAKARTA -- Over 70 people were injured and hundreds of others were evacuated from the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta's main business district as a balcony above its main lobby collapsed at noon on Monday. Police are investigating the cause, but have downplayed the possibility of a terror attack.

Dozens of ambulances were seen rushing to the site to evacuate the injured -- the exact number of whom is not yet known -- to nearby hospitals. There have been no reports of casualties so far.

Police said it was probably not a terror attack. "I can assure you this was not due to a bomb," national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto told reporters. Police said at least 77 people were injured.

Trading resumed as usual, since the incident took place during the lunch break.  Events scheduled for Tuesday will take place as planned, according to a spokesperson.

CCTV footage of the incident appeared to show a group of students gathering on the balcony before it suddenly collapsed and fell onto the ground near a reception desk. Ruins of the collapsed floor were seen inside the main lobby enclosed in a police line.

A nearby road was blocked, and hundreds of employees that had been evacuated from the building were still stranded in front of an adjacent mall hours after the incident.

Injured people are treated outside the Indonesia Stock Exchange building following the collapse of a balcony inside the building, in Jakarta on Jan. 15.   © Reuters

"The wall started shaking. At first I thought it was an earthquake, but I realized it was not because it stopped quickly," said Lucas, who works on the 22nd floor of the twin towers. He and his colleagues rushed downstairs using the stairways and evacuated through an emergency exit.

The IDX building is one of the largest and most expensive office towers in Jakarta, located in the capital's central business district. Among tenants are the Bank of America and Microsoft.

Security around the twin IDX towers has been ramped up since it suffered a terrorist bomb attack in 2000, which killed 10 people. Speculation has arisen as to whether flawed construction work was responsible for Monday's incident, but police have yet to issue any statements.

"I've been working here for 13 years but besides the bomb attack, nothing like this has ever happened," Lucas added. "I hope it is a construction error or something like that [rather than terrorism]. This is supposed to be one of the best buildings in Jakarta. But now I don't know."

Despite the incident, the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index closed the Monday trading at 6,382.195, or 0.2% higher than Friday. 

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