Vietnamese police have launched an inquiry into a high-prolife collision between a cement truck and a passenger bus that took 13 lives in northern Vietnam on Saturday.
Both drivers from the vehicles died but the investigation is necessary to ascertain who could have been indirectly involved in the accident so that criminal charges can be made, a senior police officer said.
The tragic episode unfolded at around 9:45 am on September 15, when the tanker truck rear-ended the 15-seater bus while traveling at high speed on 4D National Route in Tam Duong District of Lai Chau Province.
The crash sent the vehicles careening down the bank of a stream over ten meters below the highway after they broke a roadside crash barrier.
The incident killed 13 people, including the two drivers and a three-year-old boy, and severely injured four.
The tanker and passenger bus were damaged nearly beyond recognition, with their debris spread in multiple directions.
Eyewitnesses reported the truck was hurtling uncontrollably with long hoots before hitting the bus and causing an explosion-like noise.
A malfunctioning brake of the tanker truck was partly to blame for the accident, police said.
The truck’s speed increased continuously from 33 to 109 kilometers per hour within several minutes just before the crash, while the speed limit is only 60 kilometers per hour, according to officers.
The case was so serious that Vietnam’s permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh immediately ordered leaders from the National Traffic Safety Committee and the Ministry of Transport to arrive at the scene for investigation.
Some residents in Lai Chau said right at the spot of the collision, a truck with brake failure had also slammed into another vehicle, killing five people five years earlier.
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