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1 killed, 19 injured as sleeper bus plunges off cliff in Vietnam

Thursday, March 01, 2018, 14:30 GMT+7
1 killed, 19 injured as sleeper bus plunges off cliff in Vietnam
A sleeper bus remains in a 70-meter abyss after plunging off a cliff on the Lo Xo Pass in Kon Tum Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands on March 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

At least one person was killed and 19 others were injured when a sleeper bus slid off a cliff on the downhill portion of the Lo Xo Pass in Kon Tum Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region early Thursday morning.

The bus was heading from Quang Nam Province on the central coast toward Kon Tum at around 2:30 am, according to Colonel Le Dinh Toan, the provincial traffic police chief.

The area where the accident occurred is considered the most dangerous section of the mountain pass and has been the site of multiple fatal crashes over the years, Toan said.

Initial reports show that the bus was traveling downhill when it lost control and plunged into a 70-meter abyss.

The driver was thrown out of the vehicle during the fall and killed on the spot while 19 passengers suffered from injuries of varying degrees, nine of whom were critically injured, police say.

Rescuers and locals used ropes to reach the victims and transfer them one-by-one to safety.

Ropes are used to bring victims to the ground. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Ropes are used to bring victims to the ground. Photo: Tuoi Tre

According to Dao Duy Khanh, director of the Kon Tum Department of Health, three of the passengers sustained only minor flesh wounds and have been discharged from the hospital, one of whom caught soon another bus to continue the journey.

Sixteen remaining victims are still receiving medical treatment at Kon Tum General Hospital, Khanh said.

The Lo Xo Pass, located between Quang Nam and Kon Tum, is the part of National Highway 14 that connects provinces in Vietnam’s Central Highlands with the north-central and southeastern regions.

The 30-kilometer pass is notorious for the steep slope where Thursday’s accident happened, with drivers dubbing it the ‘slope of death’ due to the frequency of accidents occurring on the stretch of road, according to a Voice of Vietnam (VOV) report.

Rescuers and medics tend to victims rescued from the distressed sleeper bus on the Lo Xo Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Rescuers and medics tend to victims rescued from the distressed sleeper bus on the Lo Xo Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Victims rest on the side of the Lo Xo Pass after being rescued from the sleeper bus. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Victims rest on the side of the Lo Xo Pass after being rescued from the sleeper bus. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Rescuers and medics tend to victims rescued from the distressed sleeper bus on the Lo Xo Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Rescuers and medics tend to victims rescued from the distressed sleeper bus on the Lo Xo Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Rescuers and medics tend to victims rescued from the distressed sleeper bus on the Lo Xo Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Rescuers and medics tend to victims rescued from the distressed sleeper bus on the Lo Xo Pass. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Seats are badly damaged on the sleeper bus after it plunged off a cliff on the Lo Xo Pass on March 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Seats are badly damaged on the sleeper bus after it plunged off a cliff on the Lo Xo Pass on March 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Injured victims are rushed to a local medical center for treatment. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Injured victims are rushed to a local medical center for treatment. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Injured victims are rushed to a local medical center for treatment. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Injured victims are rushed to a local medical center for treatment. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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TUAN SON / TUOI TRE NEWS

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