7 killed as bus slams into mountainside in central Vietnam

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Police at the site where a bus hit a mountainside in Khanh Hoa Province, leaving at least 6 people dead. Photos by Nguyen Chung

At least seven people were killed and 22 injured when a passenger bus hit a mountainside near Nha Trang Friday morning and was hit by rocks after it triggered off their fall.

Five died on the spot and two at the Khanh Hoa General Hospital, which is also treating around 20 people, including the bus driver Nguyen Hai, 46, whose legs were broken, according to a report by the Voice of Vietnam.

Two of the victims were a woman and her child, while another was a 77-year-old woman.

Three of the injured had brain injuries, according to police.

News website Dan Tri quoted Le Quang Thanh, deputy police chief of Khanh Hoa Province, as saying the bus' brake failed when it was going down a slope.

The vehicle plunged into the mountainside and set off a rock fall.

Its front was smashed, the first three rows of seats jammed into each other due to the impact, and glass pieces lay all over the road.

The police said the bus was carrying 32 people, including primary school teachers from the central city of Da Nang and their families, some of them children aged five to 11, who were on vacation.

It left Da Nang on June 4, heading south for Nha Trang and then the resort town of Da Lat in the Central Highlands.

The accident happened when it was returning to Nha Trang from the nearby Da Lat.

The police are continuing investigations.

A recent report by the Ministry of Transport said more than 12,000 traffic accidents happened around the country in the first five months, killing 4,163 people.

The death toll was up from last year though the number of cases was down.

The ministry blamed drivers' poor health and awareness and local authorities' failure to keep tabs on the condition of vehicles.

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