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Nightmare: Serious congestion at Saigon entrances after New Year holiday

Tuesday, January 03, 2017, 14:18 GMT+7

People traveling back to Ho Chi Minh City after their New Year holiday trips were mired in severe traffic congestion that lasted for hours on Monday.

They rushed back to the southern city in the evening following a three-day holiday to resume their work, creating long lines of vehicles at both entrances to the metropolis.

As New Year’s Day fell on Sunday, most workers in Vietnam were given another day off on Monday, allowing them to enjoy a three-day weekend break from December 31 January 2.

Many people thus went on a vacation or return to their hometown in other provinces to celebrate the new year with their loved ones.

At the western gate to the southern hub, vehicles of all types were stuck in serious congestion as people dashed back to the city from the Mekong Delta region.

Cars and motorbikes were traveling at a snail’s pace in gridlock that lingered well into the night.

The eastern entrance to the city was also congested by a large number of commuters who had just concluded their trips to the southern beach city of Vung Tau, the resort town of Da Lat in the Central Highlands, and the south-central beach city of Nha Trang.

The congestion was exacerbated by a road collision between two cars on the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, which connects the city with neighboring Dong Nai Province.

The volume of vehicles on the expressway rose by 1.5 times during the holiday.

According to the National Committee for Traffic Safety, traffic jams were less severe than those in the past thanks to thorough preparations by competent agencies.

However, there have been reports that passenger buses overcharged passengers and carried more people than allowed.

Ninety-three accidents happened during the three festive days across Vietnam, killing 79 people and injuring 54 others, the committee said.

Among them, 91 crashes occurred on the road, claiming 77 lives, and the other two were railway accidents, which resulted in two fatalities.

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Adults and children are worn out in serious congestion. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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People travel at a snail’s pace in the outlying Binh Chanh district of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Automobiles are stuck in serious congestion on the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Dust and smoke from vehicle exhaust pipes on a section of National Highway 1 in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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