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Illegal railway crossings cost lives

Update: September, 27/2014 - 08:31
So far this year, six people have been killed and nine injured in 15 level crossing accidents in the province. The crossings were set up without permission from authorities.— Photo citinews

NAM DINH (VNS) — Dozens of illegal rail crossing are blamed for many of the recent rail crossing accidents in the northern province of Nam Dinh recently.

So far this year, six people have been killed and nine injured in 15 level crossing accidents in the province.

The crossings were set up without permission from authorities.

Nguyen Van Dung, deputy director of the Ha Ninh Railway Management Co Ltd., said that of the 261 known rail crossing along the province's 41km railway system, only 44 were legal.

This meant they had signs, automatic warning systems and guards on duty.

To add to the danger, Highways 21 and 10 run parallel to the tracks in many areas.

Provincial authorities have already reduced the number of illegal crossing from 354 to 261 by erecting about 12km of corrugated iron fence along the tracks, Dung said.

He added that commune authorities had not taken steps to solve the problem since they felt it was the railway sector's responsibility.

They also failed to consider railway safety when they issued land to individuals and organisations.

For example, five companies in Tan Thanh Commune in Vu Ban District have opened large illegal railway crossings without being punished by authorities.

Children to help

Dung said an accident on September 19 did not come as a shock.

A train carrying more than 300 passengers from the central province of Nghe An's Vinh City to Ha Noi crashed into a container parked on a rail crossing.

The locomotive jum-ped the rails, injuring two conductors and causing more than VND10 billion (US$476,100) in damage.

Dung said the railway sector would join efforts with commune authorities and call for help from youth volunteers,women's and veterans' association to take turns manning the illegal crossings. — VNS


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