Train crash in Central Vietnam severs North-South railway

By Nguyen Dong   October 19, 2016 | 11:29 pm PT
At around 8:00 p.m. the train crashed sending four compartments tumbling off the track.

On October 19, a freight train derailed in the central province of Thua Thien Hue, blocking the vital North-South Railway and scrambling hundreds of rescue workers to the site to repair the heavily damaged tracks.


Two compartments flipped on top of each other.


The collision severed the chases of several freight cars, splitting them in two.


The cause of the accident, which left most of the train in shambles, remains unclear. Over a hundred rail workers were dispatched to the scene. 


The accident paralyzed Vietnam's North-South rail traffic, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the stations throughout the country. Workers used a crane to settle one of the cars onto a set of chassis and tow it back to Cau Hai Station in Thua Thien – Hue.


A train company in Da Nang mobilized a 100-ton crane to the scene for support.


Workers removed each car's wheels to facilitate easier movement.


The emergency crew worked straight through the night to clear the tracks.


Beacause of damage to the rails themselves, a crane dispatched from Da Nang could not reach the final compartment, forcing railway authorities to send another crane south from Dong Hoi City in Quang Binh Province.


Record rains on October 14 flooded numerous sections of the North-South railway. Here, one of the crew sits for a quick bowl of noodles.


By the dawn of October 20, the crew succeeded in clearing the tracks. “We've only managed to remove the wreckage. We will have to wait until traffic stops before we can haul everything back for repairs,” said Le Anh Dung, Vice director of Da Nang Train Company. At around 6:40 a.m., the North-South railway resumed operations. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

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