3 injured in mystery bus fire in southern Vietnam

TN News

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Three people were injured when a public transport van with passengers caught fire in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai Friday.

Witnesses said the Ford Transit was carrying around 20 people from Dong Nai to Ho Chi Minh City when the fire started in the second row of seats.

Passengers yelled at the driver, Tran Van Tuan, to stop the vehicle and open the door for them to get out, while some broke the back window to jump out.

Soon the fire spread, totally destroying the van and all the passengers' luggage. It was not extinguished until 30 minutes later.

The same day a woman escaped without injuries when her Kia Morning car caught fire in the northern city of Hai Phong.

Tran Thi Diem Huong said when she was driving to work, she saw a fire in the back. As soon as she stopped, she heard an explosion and the fire turned into a conflagration.

She managed to open the door and escape before it spread to the front.

The car was completely destroyed.

In Hanoi that day two SH motorbikes also burned down in sudden fires.

All the cases are being investigated.

An estimated 89 vehicles burnt across the country last year, more than 50 percent of which remain a mystery. At least nine cases have been recorded in just the first week of this year.

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The fires have not been restricted to any particular kind of vehicle or brand, and have destroyed Honda and SYM bikes and a BMW car.

The needle of suspicion has pointed towards unscrupulous fuel traders who sell dodgy gasoline mixed with additives like methanol. Experts have said that while this does increase fuel combustion, they erode the rubber in the fuel line, causing gasoline to leak and ignite.

However, tests of gasoline samples taken from the accident sites by related agencies have turned up nothing so far.

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