6 killed, 4 injured in southern Vietnam traffic accident

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The wrecked bus after the collision in Long An province on May 11

At least six people died and four other were injured when a truck crashed head-on with a bus on National Highway 1A in Long An Province on Saturday.

The accident happened at around 4:50 a.m. in Tan An Town's Khanh Hau Ward near the border with Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta.

Witnesses said the truck, with a Ho Chi Minh City license number and carrying beverages, crashed into the center divider and plunged into the lane with traffic from the opposite direction, leading to a headlong crash with a16-seater bus with Can Tho City registration .

Six people were killed on the spot and at least four others were seriously injured and rushed to the hospital.

The front portion of the the bus was seriously damaged.

Tien Giang traffic police sent many officers to the scene to direct traffic on the HCMC-Trung Luong expressway to solve the gridlock.

Police are investigating the accident further.

In related news, the driver of a container truck allegedly responsible for a tragic accident in Thua Thien Hue Province on April 30 has confessed he is infected with HIV at a serious stage that is close to developing into AIDS.

Ton That Tung, 36, of Ho Chi Minh City was arrested on May 3 for "flouting driving regulations and causing extremely severe consequences."

The accident happened at around 1 p.m. on National Highway 1A in Thua Thien Hue's Phong Dien District when Tung's truck, traveling on the wrong side of the road hit a passenger bus driven by Le Dinh Chinh, 32, who was heading north to Ha Tinh Province  from Hue.

The crash caused both vehicles to plow off the road and into a field. The front of the bus was smashed and the container was dislodged from the truck. Six people including the bus driver, were killed and seven others were injured. All the human casualties were on the bus.

According to the Thua Thien Hue Traffic Safety Committee, if Tung is correct about his HIV infection, the owner of the truck will be held responsible for employing drivers who do not meet health requirements.

There were 6,420 road traffic accidents in the first quarter this year, killing 2.542 and injuring more than 6,300 others.

The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam, which provides road transportation consultancy for the Ministry of Transport, last week proposed the Strategy or Road Traffic Safety under which deaths in road accidents will be brought down from 13 every 100,00 people in 2009 to 8 per 100,000 in 2020.

The plan, which calls for investments of VND15.9 trillion (US$763 million), also envisages that by 2020, 80 percent of national highways will meet higher safety criteria and public transport systems will be improved in major cities.

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