JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Modified sleeper buses present increased fire hazard in Vietnam

Monday, March 06, 2017, 16:15 GMT+7
Modified sleeper buses present increased fire hazard in Vietnam
A traffic inspector from the Hanoi Department of Transport examines the electrical and fire safety system of a sleeper bus.

Multiple cases of sleeper buses catching fire have been recorded across Vietnam in recent months, with authorities scratching their heads to determine the cause and to prevent similar incidents.

Numerous cases have occurred since late 2016, reflecting an increased risk of fire on the mode of transportation.

In the most recent incident, the sleeper coach of Anh Tuan Bus Lines was traveling from Da Lat City to Gia Lai Province, both in the Central Highlands, on February 21 when it broke down.

The driver then discovered that the rear of the bus was on fire and managed to clear passengers and their belongings before the flames became out of control.

Minutes later the entire coach was engulfed in flames.

Earlier on February 8, a 42-seat passenger bus was devoured by a fire during its journey from the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum to the central city of Da Nang.

Similar cases also occurred in 2016, with one incident recorded in September and two others in December.

While all of those vehicles and property inside were destroyed by the inferno, no passengers were harmed.

Electrical problems?

In the two most recent cases in February, examinations by police officers showed that the fires were caused by electrical faults.

According to Tran Vu Quang, director of Ha Son Hai Transport Company, most vehicle fires arise from problems with the electrical system.

If the buses are regularly inspected, such accidents would be less likely to happen, Quang confirmed.

“Some transport businesses import their coaches from South Korea or Japan but equip them with Chinese-made electrical devices to save money,” he said.

“For example, a Japanese air conditioner installed on the bus costs about VND180 million [US$7,879] while its Chinese equivalent sells for VND60 million [$2,626],” he elaborated.

Adjustments to the vehicles

According to one officer of the Vietnam Registry, recent inspections have revealed that many bus operators have made several modifications to their passenger buses, including the installment of decorative lights, electronic banners, televisions, and DVD players.

Manufacturers of these vehicles have done careful calculations in their original designs, the officer said, warning that adding such devices could cause an overload to the electrical system, and result in fires.

Meanwhile, an official from the Vietnam Registry said that some bus operators have used outdated transformers to switch the buses’ original power of 24 volts to 220 volts in order to supply power to their TV screens.

The Ministry of Transport has ordered tighter supervision of passenger buses to prevent operators from altering the makers' original design.

Accordingly, officers from the Vietnam Registry will only grant approval documents to bus operators if their vehicles stay with their original designs, said Nguyen Hong He, an official from the agency.

Any additional equipment that can lead to potential fires need to be removed, he added.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

Samsung to make smart TVs at latest $3bn Vietnam facility

Smart TVs are among many electronic devices in addition to mobile phones Samsung is planning to start producing in a northern Vietnamese province under a fresh multibillion-dollar investment, the provincial administration has said

4 years ago

Flight attendants in Vietnam: Love in the air

Flights have helped air hostesses and their male colleagues and regular passengers become couples, but they have also led husbands and wives to being separated thanks to the distance and lack of time

4 years ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news