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Holiday hangover sparks HCM City traffic chaos

Update: May, 02/2013 - 09:26
Six passengers were killed and nine others injured after a coach crashed into a container truck on Tuesday along a stretch of National Highway 1A in central Thua Thien Hue Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Viet

HCM CITY (VNS)— Hundreds of thousand of people flocked back to HCM City after the five-day holiday yesterday, creating gridlock at almost all of the city's gateway centres.

Vehicles waiting to board Cat Lai ferry connecting Nhon Trach District, Dong Nai Province with District 2 stretched for 2km.

Tran Minh Thanh, director of Cat Lai Ferry Enterprise, told local media that 93.000 people crossed on the ferry on April 30, representing dramatic increase in both directions between HCM City and Dong Nai.

At least 85,000 passed across the ferry ramps yesterday, an increase of 50,000 compared with normal days.

At major bus stations of An Suong, Mien Dong and Mien Tay, at least 1300-1400 buses disgorge passengers.

In Ha Noi, major coach stations such as My Dinh, Giap Bat, Nuoc Ngam avoided overcrowding due to better management and monitoring, according to media reports.

Hoang Van Manh, deputy inspector for Ha Noi Department of Transport, said transport inspectors worked with traffic police and other officers to fine those who overloaded passengers and did not provide tickets or carried goods in passenger cars. At least 26 violations were reported between April 25 and May 1.

Despite the measures, many passengers said they were still forced to board overcrowded coaches returning to Ha Noi yesterday.

The Anh, a college student at the University of Transport, said he paid VND200,000 to travel from Thanh Hoa to Ha Noi, which was far higher than the normal price of VND50,000.

However, authorities in Gia Lam and Giap Bat coach stations said they did not receive any complaints from customers over the price increase.

Nguyen Hoang Trung, director of the Ha Noi Bus Management Company, said anyone who was jammed onto overcrowded coaches should contact its hotline, adding that the company plans to address the issue of unscrupulous pricing during the holidays with all member firms.

Meanwhile, traffic accidents took their toll. At Khanh Hoa yesterday, three cars, one motorbike and one coach collided and caused a major traffic holdup in the area of Ro Tuong mountain pass in Ninh Ich, Ninh Hoa town, killing at least one and injuring 10 others. The dead have not been identified and investigations are continuing.

Six people were killed on April 30 after a passenger bus carrying 30 people to Hue overturned and crashed into rice paddies. The accident was believed to be caused by a container truck from Ha Noi encroaching on the lane.

Residents broke windows to save passengers.

More than 2,570 people were killed in the first three months of this year due to traffic accidents, according to the General Statistics Office. — VNS


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