Police in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong have summoned five men suspected to be the culprits who stoned a bus on a national highway after they had gotten drunk, causing severe injuries to the bus driver, on Sunday. The case was the latest of many similar attacks on buses that have occurred over the past few years on many highways in different localities in Vietnam. Officers in the province’s Dak Mil District on Monday questioned Le Van Hai, 22, Nguyen Song Hung, 19, Lang Thanh Man, 19, and two other young men on their involvement in the stoning of a sleeper bus of Thuan Tien Transport Tourism Co. Ltd. During the questioning, these young men admitted to their offense and said, “We threw stones at the bus for fun only, not for other purposes.” “Some of us occasionally suggested stoning a bus after we got drunk. I agreed and joined the stoning. That’s all,” Hung told police officers. Their attack with 4 cm x 6 cm stones broke many of the vehicle’s windows, injuring the bus driver, Phan Van Doan, 45, in one of his eyes. Doan was taken to the Dak Mil General Hospital and doctors gave him as many as 29 stitches in the injured eye area.
As the wound was serious, he was later transferred to a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for intensive treatment.
The bus driver, Phan Van Doan, suffered serious injuries to his right eye after his bus was attacked with stones on June 28, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
According to the case file, at midnight on Sunday, Doan was driving a bus in Dak Nrot Commune on the way from Dak Lak Province to Dak Nong when the vehicle was attacked by the said five young people. These youngsters gathered at a café on the side of National Highway 14 and threw stones at the bus when it was coming by. The attack was then reported to local police, who launched an investigation and identified the five suspects. Captain Bui Xuan Hung, chief of the Dak Mil investigation police agency, said the five young men do not have stable jobs and often gather to drink late in the evening.
Captain Hung added local police are collecting more information and evidence related to the serious case, and the suspects may face criminal treatment for their offenses. Truong Van Luan, Thuan Tien’s director, said that Doan is at risk of going blind, given the seriousness of the eye wound. “Our buses have suffered such rock attacks many times, while our firm has no conflict with any other passenger transporters. Such attacks not only caused damage to us but also great worry to our passengers,” Luan said.
Meanwhile, Doan said many buses of other firms have also suffered from such attacks while traveling on the same highway en route from Dak Lak to Binh Phuoc Provinces. “I have heard from other drivers who spread a rumor that a trader of automobile glass in Ho Chi Minh City has hired people to launch such attacks so that the trader can sell its products well,” the driver said. In recent times, many cases of stoning buses have occurred on National Highway 14’s section running from Dak Nong to Kon Tum Provinces, police said.