Rail safety off the tracks with 43 train collisions recorded in January

By VnExpress   February 7, 2017 | 02:28 am PT
Rail safety off the tracks with 43 train collisions recorded in January
Residents stop at a level crossing in Phu Nhat District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress
19 died in accidents mostly at crossroads at the start of the year.

Railway safety in Vietnam is becoming a serious concern after 43 train collisions were recorded from January 1 to February 4.

The accidents, mostly occurring at the crossroads, killed 19 people and injured 38 others, according to data from the Vietnam Railway Company (VNR).

The VNR revealed that during the seven-day traditional Tet Holiday alone, there were eight accidents between trains and other vehicles or pedestrians, resulting in eight deaths. Compared to the same period last year, the numbers of accidents, deaths and injuries all jumped.

The main cause of the accidents were residents who ignored signs at crossroads. 

The lack of guards and automatic alarms, at the same time, exacerbated the problem.

A report by the VNR showed that there are nearly 5,800 level crossing points across the country, of which only a quarter have guards stationed or equipped with automatic alarms and warning signs.

Khuat Viet Hung from the National Traffic Safety Commission said that speed bumps are needed at pedestrian crossings to slow traffic.

The Ministry of Transport is also working on a feasibility study for an express railway across the country, which is expected to be submitted for parliamentary approval by 2018.

The railway follows a similar plan rejected in 2010 by national lawmakers, who said the investment of $56 billion, or nearly half of Vietnam’s gross domestic product at that time, was too high.

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