Vietnam’s rail service paralyzed after barge crashes into bridge

By Ngoc Tho, Thanh Nien News

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A cargo barge hit a railway bridge in Ho Chi Minh City early Sunday, putting hundreds of passengers stranded for more than 5 hours.
The accident happened at around 1:40 a.m. when a barge hit the Binh Loi Railway Bridge on the country’s outdated rail line.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong, 32, who was piloting the barge, said the barge was carrying 1,000 tons of construction rocks upstream.
The barge’s roof was stuck in a span of the bridge that was shaken vigorously.
A rail section was badly bent and many wooden parts supporting the one-meter gauge were broken in the accident.
The bridge management unit reported to the waterway police and informed all trains to stop at nearby Binh Trieu, Song Than and Saigon stations.
The trains were resumed at around 6:40 a.m. after relevant agencies repaired the damages.
However, train speed has been limited to 5 kph before full recovery of the damage.
A railway official, who wanted to remain unnamed, said they could halt all trains soon to repair the damages section.

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