Fatal crash exposes dangers of road-blocking wedding parties in Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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A wedding tent on Road No. 1 in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City. File photo A wedding tent on Road No. 1 in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City. File photo
A recent crash that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl has rung alarm bells over the illegal and dangerous invasion of wedding tents, especially in Ho Chi Minh City suburban districts.
At around 8:30 p.m. last Saturday, a crane truck was traveling along Road 43 to Thu Duc District when the driver Nguyen Thanh Giang saw a wedding tent ahead.
The tent took over nearly two thirds of the road. 
23-year-old Giang tried to stop but the brake failed. He then swerved the truck to the right, hitting a group of workers who just left their nearby factory.
Nguyen Thi Diem Thuy, 16, who was standing on the pavement to wait for her father, died on the spot. Five other workers were injured.
In Thu Duc, wedding parties in the streets are a common sight. Although some streets are narrow, residents erect makeshift tents for wedding receptions or other gatherings in front of their houses.
They also set up tables and chairs, making it hard for vehicles to pass through.
The vehicles usually have to change lanes when traveling past these tents.
In some sloping streets, road users are put at high risks as large trucks or buses have to change lanes and it may be very difficult for the trucks and buses to stop.
Most of the residents erect tents in front of their houses because they do not want to spend more money hiring renting a place elsewhere. 
Apart from blocking the streets, the tents also cause nuisance to nearby residents as partygoers eat, drink and sing very loudly.
The HCMC government has banned the encroachment of road surface for a long time, but districts’ authorities have loosened management on the matter, according to Cao Thanh Binh, a member of the HCMC People’s Council.
Huynh Thanh Nhan, chairman of Thu Duc District People’s Committee, said the district would strictly ban the tents following the “regretful” incident.

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