Thursday, December 15, 2011

Most serious accidents in Vietnam this year

At 2.15am of November 7, residents along National Highway 1A in Hong Son commune, Ham Thuan Bac district, in Binh Thuan province, were awakened by a big explosion. They rushed to the road and witnessed a terrified scene.

A coach with license plate of Thai Binh province was overturned to one side. The coach was deformed and was burning. Dozens of passengers were stuck in the car, crying and shouting for help. Not very far from the coach, a container truck was also flattened. Another coach was a little deformed.

Local people tried their best to stamp out the fire and rescue the people stuck in the coach but the car was quickly burnt down. 13 passengers were dead and over 20 others were seriously injured.

According to local police, before the accident occurred, the container truck was driven by Tran Thien Thanh, 22, from Khanh Hoa province. The truck was running southward at high speed when it crashed into a coach of Hoang Long transportation company, which ran in the opposite direction. The container truck then lost control and hit directly to a 54-seat coach from Thai Binh province. Both drivers were dead on the spot.

Police said that the truck driver, Thanh, was only a driver assistant. The driver – Nguyen Dao, 33, also from Khanh Hoa province, was asleep so he assigned Thanh to drive the truck. Dao was arrested.

18 workers die at quarry

In the morning of April 1, around 30 workers were working as usual at the Len Co stone-pit in Yen Thanh district, in the central province of Nghe An when the 40m highm 150m long mount suddenly collapsed.

The rescue force was immediately present, with six excavators, to dig and search for victims. An ambulance post was set up on the spot. It took a lot of time to remove soil and rock. By 7pm of the same day, the rescue force took 15 workers out of the quarry. Three others were still stuck.

More than 400 people including soldiers, militias, police and local people tried to seek the remaining victims.

Three days after the incident, which killed 18 and injured 6, local people took criminal proceeding against the company that runs the quarry.

Birthday party on “fatal” ship

To celebrate the 3rd birthday of his son, the Chinese director of a Binh Duong province-based private company – Quach Luong Tai – invited his relatives and colleagues to a birthday party on a ship of the Din Ky green tourism zone in Thuan An district, Binh Duong province.

When the ship was running on the Saigon River, it suddenly rained with strong wind. The ship driver hurriedly drove the ship back to the wharf. Around 100m from the wharf, the boat was staggered and overturned. Some people swam to the bank but 16 others died, including five children and four Chinese.

Two days after the accidents, rescuers found the bodies of all victims, including the 3-year-old boy and his mother. When the bodies were fished out, the mother still hugged her son.

Local police arrested boat driver Le Van Duc, who did not have any driving license, and Lao Van Quang, the wharf manager.

Din Ky tourism center compensated all victims and spent over $68,000 to take the ashes of Chinese victims to their home.

Railway accident in Dong Nai

A railway accident happened at Ghenh Bridge in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai province in early February, causing two deaths and 24 injured cases.

On the evening of February 6, a north-south train, controlled by Nguyen Van Tuy, 43, ran from HCM City to Hanoi. The train hit six cars stationed in a row in a traffic jam on the Ghenh Bridge in Bien Hoa city in Dong Nai province near Ho Chi Minh City, killing two people and injuring 26 others.

Passengers stuck in the traffic jam started to scramble out of their vehicles as the train moved forward while others screamed and ran away.

A taxi driver, Nguyen Minh Chau, 44, was charged with causing the traffic jam in the first place that triggered the accident. He reportedly argued with another driver over who should give way first. The argument caused a traffic jam on the bridge, along which a railway track runs. A train then ploughed into the six cars stuck on the track.

Seven railway workers were detained for further investigations into the accident.

Four employees responsible for the train crossing barrier and another in charge of traffic signal were accused of “irresponsibility causing serious consequences” while chief driver Nguyen Van Tuy and assistant driver Nguyen Xuan Phu are facing charges of “infringing on railway regulations.”

According to local police, it is the worst railway accident ever in Dong Nai Province.

Timber truck overturned, kills 10 in central Vietnam

A truck carrying valuable wood and 17 people overturned on Pu Huot mountain pass in the early morning of December 7 in Con Cuong District of Nghe An, killing 10 and injuring 5. Most of the victims are Thai ethnic people.

The truck carried 12 columns of a house (each of which was 5m long) and six plank beds. All of the products were from the Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) tree, which belongs to a group of valuable and rare woods and is banned from exploitation.

It is confirmed that some forest rangers were on the truck. Nghe An police arrested Trinh Thanh Long, deputy director of the management board at the Pu Huong Natural Conservation Center and head of the Pu Huong Forest Management Center, and Dao Cong Thang, head of the Quy Hop Forest Management Center in Nghe An for their involvement in the smuggling operation.

Thang confessed to the police that the truck was owned by Trinh Thanh Long, who ordered him to escort the truck carrying the smuggled wood products. Nguyen Kim Hung, Thang’s subordinate, has also been held on the same charges.