Five killed as bus careens off cliff in Central Highlands

By Tran Hoa, Xuan Ngoc, Phuoc Tuan   July 11, 2020 | 12:58 pm GMT+7
Five killed as bus careens off cliff in Central Highlands
A bus has been upturned after plunging off a cliff in Kon Tum Province, July 11, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Hoa.

At least five people died and 35 others were injured when a bus plunged off a cliff in Kon Tum Province on Saturday morning.

At around 4 a.m. the sleeper bus with 40 passengers including nine children was driving up the Ngoc Vinh mountain pass in the Central Highlands province when it went off the road and fell into a ravine 20 meters below.

Officials check a bus that plunged off a cliff in Kon Tum Province, July 11, 2020. Video by Tran Hoa.

By 11 a.m., officials confirmed that five people had died and of the 28 injured, 26 had been taken to a medical center in Ngoc Hoi District while the other two were admitted in critical condition to the Kon Tum General Hospital.

"The bus was smashed so badly, so rescue forces had to cut it into two to get the victims out," said Nguyen Xuan Huong, a spokesman of Kon Tum’s Traffic Safety Department.

The bus was traveling from Thanh Hoa Province, around 1,000 km to the north. Its driver said the bus's brakes had failed and led to the fall.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, who is also the chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, instructed local authorities to quickly rescue the trapped victims and test the driver for alcohol and drugs.

Road crashes are a major cause of death in Vietnam. They've killed an average 17 people every day this year.

[UPDATE] The casualty was raised to six on Sunday morning as a 72-year-old man succumbed to brain injuries.

 
 
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