3 killed as bus hits cliff in central Vietnam

By Gia Binh – Lam Vien, Thanh Nien News

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Three people including the driver were killed and at least 45 others injured as a bus lost control and crashed into a cliff in the Central Highlands Tuesday morning.
Lam Dong Province’s transport officials said the 45-seat bus was heading to the province’s resort town Da Lat when it crashed after a sharp turn at around 10 a.m. in Da Chais Commune, Lac Duong District.
Officials said the bus hit the talus to the left of the road, before plunging into the other lane and rammed the rock mountain, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
They estimated that the bus ran out of control around 100 meters ahead of the crash site, the paper said.
The vehicle was heavily smashed on one side and at front.
Pham Thanh Long, the 58-year-old driver from the Mekong Delta's Long An Province, and two other victims, a man and a woman, died on the spot.
Long and the man, 44-year-old Phan Cong Nhat who sat next to him, were stuck in their seats and their bodies were only recovered four hours after the accident. It’s still not clear if he was the assistant driver.
Most of the passengers, aged 5 to 69, come from Long An, which neighbors Ho Chi Minh City. The bus was said to be on its way from Nha Trang coastal town in Khanh Hoa Province to Da Lat.
Dr Nguyen Ba Hy, director of Lam Dong General Hospital, told Thanh Nien the hospital has received 32 passengers with injuries, including five cases with bone eruptions.
Hy said Huynh Thi Ha, 64, was the most critical as her spinal cord, pelvis and arm bone broke.
Hoan My Da Lat Hospital received 13 other patients from the bus accident, including a 16-year-old Singaporean.
Lam Dong officials are investigating the cause of the accident.

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