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Road accidents down, rail mishaps increase

Update: July, 20/2015 - 08:28
Three people died and four others were injured in an accident yesterday in Ha Binh Commune, Thanh Hoa Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Trinh Duy Hung

HCM CITY (VNS) — A car crash killed three people on National Highway 1A in Ha Binh Commune in the central province of Thanh Hoa early yesterday.

At around 4:30 a.m., a Ha Noi-bound seven-seat van driven by Ho Tuan Sau, 49, from Nghe An Province, ran into the back of a trailer truck going in the same direction.

The crash killed two men and a woman from Nghe An who were in the van: Le Van Mui, 48; Nguyen Van Tan, 62; and Nguyen Thai Ha, 29.

Another four in the van were injured and immediately rushed to the hospital after the accident.

In late June, a report released by the Traffic Police Bureau showed that more than 11,000 traffic accidents occurred in the first six months of the year.

The figure decreased, compared with more than 13,000 accidents in the same period last year. The number people killed or injured in the accidents also saw a reduction to 2014, according to police.

Railway accidents rise

Meanwhile, the number of accidents on the north-south railway has soared in 2015, with the death toll running into the dozens.

According to the National Committee for Traffic Safety, 86 traffic accidents have occurred, killing 76 and injuring 24.

On June 8 train number SE5 hit and dragged a container truck for 20 metres when the latter was crossing the tracks in Long Binh Ward in Bien Hoa. The accident caused a several-hour traffic jam.

On June 1 there was another accident, this one in Ha Hoa District in Phu Tho Province, when a train going from Yen Bai to Ha Noi hit a truck carrying concrete and tossed it into a nearby corn field, killing the driver on the spot. The locomotive went off the tracks and into the field, while two coaches jumped the tracks.

Nguyen Xuan Hoa, chairman of Sai Gon Railroad Management Ltd., was quoted by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying that the railway network was built over a century ago and no fly-overs have been added to modernise it.

Meanwhile, new roads are constantly built across tracks since residential areas keep springing up along rail routes. This has led to many accidents.

Nguyen Xuan Hung, head of technical safety at Sai Gon Railroad Management Ltd., said the expansion of roads and streets in HCM City has resulted in bottlenecks at level crossings.

He said the bottlenecks at places like To Ngoc Van Street in Thu Duc District, No Trang Long Street in Binh Thanh and Nguyen Trong Tuyen Street in Phu Nhuan have affected traffic safety.

Hoa said HCM City took the lead in building barriers to block tracks in residential areas, erecting some 20km of barricades to separate them from roads and streets. This has helped reduce the number of accidents in the city, he said.

He said boards with the messages "At level crossings, the priority is for trains" or "Stop and watch for a coming train before crossing the tracks" should be put up at level crossings.

Ha Ngoc Truong, deputy chairman of the HCM City Association of Bridges, Roads and Ports, said some 3,000 roads cross railway tracks and most of the crossings are on a horizontal plane, which is the reason for the rising number of accidents. A lot of funds would be needed to address the problem.

The railways should invest in a modern signal system that could help barricade crossings before a train arrived, he said. — VNS

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