One passenger died and 38 others were injured after their sleeper bus fell into an abyss in central Vietnam on Tuesday, local authorities said.
>> An audio version of the story is available here The accident occurred at noon when the bus, carrying 43 people, plunged into a 100-meter-deep abyss when it was traversing the Lo Xo Mountain Pass, between Kon Tum and Quang Nam Provinces. The bus overturned after the fall, killing a male passenger from the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, Vo Duc Nam, 49, on the spot. The deadly accident happened when the bus was on its way from Dak Nong to the northern province of Nam Dinh. A number of passengers who suffered minor injuries managed to get out of the bus, while the remaining victims were removed from the vehicle by rescuers who were sent to the scene.
Quang Nam authorities also mobilized specialized vehicles and hundreds of soldiers and policemen to the site to handle the accident and lift the bus from the abyss. Rescuers then gave first aid and medical care to the 38 injured people, of whom five were in critical condition and were taken to a local health center in Quang Nam for treatment.
Three of these five were later transferred to the Da Nang Hospital. Meanwhile, passengers with slight injures took another bus to continue their journey after receiving medical care.
The bus driver, Le Quang Huan, 39, of Dak Nong, recounted that when the vehicle reached the top of the pass, he saw a car running in the opposite direction, so he steered the bus to the left to avoid a collision, according to new website Zing.
At that moment, the bus brakes were not working, so Huan lost control of the vehicle, which then fell into the abyss, Zing cited the driver as saying.
The Quang Nam People’s Committee gave VND3 million (US$137.6) as initial support to the family of the dead victim and VND 1 million to each of those who suffered wounds. Police in Quang Nam are investigating the cause of the accident.
The Lo Xo Mountain Pass is 27km long, with many sloping sections, linking Phuoc Son District of Quang Nam and Dak Glei District of Kon Tum. From 2011 to April 2014, 19 traffic accidents occurred on the pass, killing 14 people and wounding 45 others, according to Zing.