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Vietnamese casualties in Lao bus accident

Update: June, 03/2016 - 09:02
Scene of a bus accident in Lao that killed eight Vietnamese guest workers and injured three others on board early yesterday morning.— Photo

QUẢNG BÌNH — Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình has asked related agencies to investigate a bus accident in Lao that killed eight Vietnamese guest workers and injured three others on board early yesterday morning.

Deputy PM Bình, who is also head of the National Committee on Traffic Safety, requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese Embassy in Laos to work closely to provide assistance to the victims and repatriate the deceased.

He demanded an urgent investigation by the transport ministry and local authorities of the central provinces of Quảng Bình and Nghệ An towards bus operators that run bus services between the provinces and Lao localities.

He emphasised that prompt reviews on current cross-border traffic regulations and keeping bus operators updated with those regulations would be necessary to reduce similar traffic accidents.

Early yesterday morning, a bus bearing Laos license plates exploded and caught fire while en route to Việt Nam, killing and injuring eleven Vietnamese, 15km from central Quảng Bình Province.

According to officials at the province’s Cha Lo Border Gate, a blast and ensuing blaze had taken place at around 4am, incinerating the vehicle. The bus reportedly departed from Laos’ Khamouane Province, heading to central Nghệ An Province in Việt Nam.

The bus was driven by the Khánh Đơn bus operator from Nghệ An, the head of the province’s Nghi Lộc District Police, Major Nguyễn Trọng Tuệ, confirmed.

Tuệ told Việt Nam News Agency that the deceased were residents of Nghệ An Province’s Diễn Châu and Nghi Lộc districts, who were guest workers in Lao and on the way home.

Three injured people were transferred from Lao to Nghệ An’s 115 Hospital for emergency medical care.

Senior Lt. Col. Hà Trọng Việt, head of Cha Lo border guards said the accident scene investigation showed that the 36-seat bus was loaded with wooden beams and fire crackers.

He suspected the blast had been caused by the crackers and sparked the fire on board later. Phạm Đình Tú, 28, a victim, said the rear part of the vehicle was full of timber.

“I woke up and found the timber beams on my injured body until I was rescued by someone else,” he said. Tú added that the blast had woken him up.

The bus driver and his assistant were unharmed but fled the scene. They were later apprehended in Khamouane for questioning.

Related agencies in Nghệ An Province have managed to establish contact with and provide support to the families of the victims. — VNS



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