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One dead, two missing in Malaysia bridge collapse

ONE child drowned and two others were missing today after a group of Malaysian schoolchildren plunged into a river when a suspension bridge they were crossing collapsed last night, according to police.

They were part of a group of nearly 300 pupils from several dozen primary schools in northern Perak state who were on a camping trip in a village 200 km (120 miles) north of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Police said initial reports had identified 22 pupils as missing, but the number was eventually narrowed down to three.

"We have recovered and identified one body, while two other children remain missing," district police chief Superintendent Aziz Salleh said.

Aziz said more than 300 rescue personnel were combing the river to search for the two remaining victims. He said the bridge had collapsed in the compound of a school where the students were gathered.

State news agency Bernama reported that the 50-metre bridge was completed two weeks ago to replace an earlier suspension bridge that also collapsed.

The chief Minister of Perak state Zambry Abdul Kadir was quoted by the news agency saying that the bridge's support beams had fallen and authorities were trying to determine whether the bridge was built according to proper specifications.


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