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Bridge collapse prompts inspections

Update: February, 26/2014 - 09:27
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked for prompt inspections of all weak or old suspension bridges nationwide, especially those in remote and mountainous areas.— VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan

HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked for prompt inspections of all weak or old suspension bridges nationwide, especially those in remote and mountainous areas.

The call was made at an online conference to review traffic safety held in Ha Noi yesterday following the tragic bridge collapse that left eight dead and nearly 40 injured in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau on Monday.

Two helicopters carrying surgical teams from the capital's Viet-Duc (Viet Nam-Germany) and Bach Mai hospitals landed in the province yesterday morning to help treat the victims in local hospitals.

Overloading has been blamed for the collapse of the 54 metre-long bridge, which had been in use for 14 months with a capacity of supporting 1.5 tonne vehicles.

Phuc, who is also Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, stressed that the accident was a serious lesson for the transport sector.

"Weak suspension bridges pose direct threats and the transport sector must take full responsibility," he stressed.

Phuc also asked for transport businesses to be monitored to prevent traffic accidents following several serious cases involving inter-provincial coaches and overloaded trucks and container vehicles in recent weeks.

"Authorities must also work closely to stop drink and drug driving and punish violators with heavy fines or by permanently revoking their driving licenses," he said

On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent an official message to the People's Committee of Lai Chau Province and the Ministry of Transport regarding the incident.

In the message, the PM asked the provincial authority to send condolences and support to the families of those who died and were injured in the accident. He also called on the Ministry of Transport to inspect bridges nationwide to prevent similar incidents. — VNS

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