'Bridge of Death' stands between Vietnamese village and outside world

By Le Hoang   August 15, 2017 | 11:57 pm PT
At least five people have died trying to make it over this floating river crossing in Thanh Hoa Province.

This rickety bridge of wooden slats balanced on a series of old canoes is the only thing connecting Coc Village in the central province of Thanh Hoa, 150 kilometers (93 miles) to the southwest of Hanoi. The village is surrounded by a river and children used to skip school during the monsoon season because the rough water was too dangerous to risk taking a boat across.


The villagers worked together to build the bridge more than 20 years ago using old boats as buoys. The bridge spans 100 meters and is just over a meter wide. As you can see, there are no railings.


Villagers said accidents happen all the time, especially during the rainy season. At least five people have died, including a man and his son who were crossing by motorbike one night in June.


Hundreds of people still cross the bridge every day because they have no other choice.


The villagers take turns to bail out the boat-buoys every day.


A plan to build a VND13 billion ($572,000) bridge to connect the village has remained on paper since 2009 due to “lack of funding”, according to provincial leaders.

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