DAK LAK — The provincial People's Committee has been working with representatives of the National Committee of Traffic Safety to investigate the cause of a tragic coach accident that killed 34 passengers and injured 21 others on Thursday night in the Central Highland province of Dak Lak.
|Rescue workers and local residents help remove victims from the coach that crashed early Friday morning, killing at least 36 people. — VNA/VNS Photo.
The two drivers and female ticket inspector were reported to have died on the spot. The injured included three, three-year-old children, one of whom is in a serious condition.
The accident occurred after the coach crashed into a bridge and plunged into the Serepok River.
According to a report by local police, among the dead were a 14 year old and an 81 year old.
Local police have identified the dead passengers and those who were injured.
The accident, which brought traffic to a standstill for over six hours, occurred while the coach was travelling from Buon Ma Thuot City to HCM City.
After the accident, local authorities teamed up with hundreds of residents in a two-hour effort to save victims from the overturned coach.
As many as 14 survivors received free treatment at the Dak Lak General Hospital, according to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in the province.
Most of them were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and some were in a critical condition, reported by the hospital.
Seven more were discharged from hospital yesterday.
Y Bliu Arul, deputy director of the hospital, said it had sent doctors, nurses and ambulances to the crash site to support rescue activities.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday requested the Ministry of Public Security, the Dak Lac People's Committee and the Ministry of Transport to speed up investigations into the cause of the accident.
Dung also sent his condolences to family members of the victims and requested the People's Committee of Dak Lac Province instruct all relevant agencies to work on the aftermath of the accident.
In a related move, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Committee of Traffic Safety yesterday morning appointed representatives led by Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong to the province in collaboration with local agencies to solve the case.
The coach, which was operated by the Quyet Thang Transport Co-operative, was equipped with a black box, Dong said.
Local authorised agencies would open the black box to look into the cause of the accident, he said, adding that it was a tragic incident.
Initial investigations showed that there was no abnormal signs on the stretch of road where the accident occurred, he said.
Street lights on the stretch were working as normal, he said.
On the same day, the provincial People's Committee set up three teams led by committee chairman Lu Ngoc Cu to visit the victims' families.
The committee will give VND9 million (US$432) to the families of the deceased, and VND5.5 million ($264) to those who were injured.
Authorised agencies have finished legal procedures related to burying victims in their hometowns.
The accident occurred one day after the National Committee for Traffic Safety Traffic announced that traffic deaths in the first four months of this year had fallen by 30 per cent against the same period last year. — VNS