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Traffic safety a priority after spate of tragedies

Update: October, 28/2013 - 08:40

A rescue team retrieves a coach after an accident in Bao Yen District, Lao Cai Province on Friday. At least seven passengers were killed and 29 others were injured when a coach on the way from Hai Phong to Lao Cai plunged into a canyon. — VNA/VNS Photo Luc Van Toan
HA NOI (VNS) — On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent an official order asking localities to do more to ensure traffic safety following a series of particularly serious accidents in some provinces recently.

 

The Deputy PM, who is also Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, asked localities to increase the presence of police on roads, intensify traffic patrols to detect and deal with violations, and to better manage passenger vehicles through safety inspections.

He also ordered provinces and cities to increase awareness of traffic laws and safety for commuters.

Concerning the tragic accident in Lao Cai, the National Traffic Safety Committee has supported the victims' families with VND2 million (US$95) each and injured passengers with VND1 million (nearly $50).

Seven dead in Lao Cai

At least seven passengers were killed while 29 others were injured when a coach on the way from Hai Phong port city to Lao Cai Province plunged into a canyon on Friday.

The accident occurred at 18.30pm at km74-200 on National Highway 279 when the coach carrying 46 passengers, on a ritual trip to Bao Ha Temple in Lao Cai was travelling past Yen Son Commune, Bao Yen District.

Rescue workers recovered five dead bodies trapped inside the coach. Two others died at a nearby hospital. Of the deceased, six come from Hai Phong City and the others from Thai Binh province.

According to the local authorities, among the 29 hospitalised passengers, two are in critical condition, and six are receiving emergency treatment for serious injuries at Bao Yen District hospital's intensive care unit.

The remaining passengers with less serious injuries have been sent to hospitals in northern Hai Phong City.

The Ministry of Transport has asked the Lao Cai provincial Traffic Safety Board to identify the cause of the tragic accident. Survivors said the accident might have been caused by brake failure.

According to the authorities of Bao Yen District, Lao Cai Province, prior to the tragic accident, four recent accidents had also occurred in the same area on National Highway 279, prompting officials to place a traffic sign at the corner of National Highway 70 and National Highway 279 prohibiting trucks over 2.5 tonnes from using the road.

However, the authorities said that the driver of the coach, which exceeded 10 tonnes, ignored the sign and used the road anyway. Therefore, the driver's lack of traffic safety awareness was also a reason contributing to the tragedy in addition to the possibility of brake failure.

Traffic officials also reported that they had managed to salvage the coach from the canyon the next day and will further investigate to determine the exact cause of the accident. — VNS

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