Prosecutors in the southern province Dong Nai Wednesday said seven railway workers will be detained for four months as investigations continue into a deadly collision between a train and six cars during the Lunar New Year holiday.
The accident happened on February 8 on the Ghenh Bridge in Bien Hoa Town when a northbound train approached the bridge and crashed into the cars stuck on it in a traffic jam.
Two were killed on the spot, and 24 others were injured. The narrow bridge, reportedly built more than 100 years ago, handles both rail and road traffic in parallel.
Under the latest decision taken by the Bien Hoa People's Procuracy, train driver Nguyen Van Tuy and his assistant Nguyen Xuan Phu are now being probed for "violating regulations of driving means of rail transportation."
A traffic light maintenance worker and four guards face charges of "lacking responsibility, causing critical consequences."
Several news sources reported that the guards failed to warn the train not to get on the bridge, while others said the warning light system was broken before the accident.
The local prosecuting agency also extended the custody of two taxi drivers Nguyen Hung Quoc and Tran Minh Chau, who are said to have "obstructed rail traffic."
Initial investigations show that several minutes before the accident, Hung and Chau stopped their cars on the bridge and quarreled with each other over who should give way for the other, causing a traffic jam.
Described as a New Year tragedy, the crash has raised concerns about similar accidents that could happen at junctions around the country where railway tracks run through roads used by cars and motorbikes.