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Pile-up freezes Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City

Pile-up freezes Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City

Saturday, December 31, 2022, 13:18 GMT+7
Pile-up freezes Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City
Vehicles clog about four kilometers of Vo Van Kiet Boulevard following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Thousands of vehicles stood stock-still for two hours in the Saigon River Tunnel and on major roads leading to the underwater tunnel connecting Thu Duc City with downtown Ho Chi Minh City following a pile-up on Friday evening.

The traffic accident involving three cars occured at around 5:30 pm on the day, according to Doan Van Tan, director of the Saigon River Tunnel Management Center.

No casualties were reported.

Automobiles are stuck following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre
Automobiles are stuck following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Although traffic police officers and rescuers swiftly handled the incident, both ends of the tunnel and adjacent streets were quickly clogged.

On Vo Van Kiet Boulevard, which leads to the tunnel, traffic police officers had to ask cars to temporarily take the motorcycle lane or turn around and go another way.

A traffic police officer regulates traffic on Vo Van Kiet Boulevard following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre
A traffic police officer regulates traffic on Vo Van Kiet Boulevard following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The traffic congestion was relaxed at around 7:30 pm after the three cars involved in the accident had been towed away.

The Sai Gon River Tunnel, also known as Thu Thiem Tunnel, lies 27 meters under the Saigon River at the deepest point and is the longest underwater tunnel in Southeast Asia as well as the first in Vietnam.

Automobiles are stuck following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre
Automobiles are stuck following a pile-up in the Saigon River Tunnel in Ho Chi Minh City, December 30, 2022. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The structure is nearly 1.5 kilometers long, 33 meters wide, and nine meters high and has six lanes, according to news site VnExpress

Since opening to traffic at the end of 2011, many accidents have happened in the tunnel.

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