A sleeper bus carrying 53 people collided with a car and then fell into an abyss in the northern Vietnamese province of Lao Cai on Monday evening, leaving at least 12 people dead and 41 others injured.
VnExpress newspaper has sent reporters to the scene to check if there was any foreigner on the bus, as it traveled on a route frequently used by international visitors to Vietnam.
At about 6:30 pm, the double-decker bus was traveling on National Highway 4D in Bat Xat District, about 15km from Sa Pa town, when it hit a four-seater car.
The bus had earlier departed from Sa Pa.
After the collision, the bus fell into a 200-meter deep valley.
The car, which had two passengers inside, sustained damage to its front end.
The collision killed one bus passenger instantly while injuring the other 52 people. All of those injured were taken to Lao Cai General Hospital, but 11 of them died on the way, said Khuat Viet Hung, deputy head of the National Traffic Safety Committee.
Police have examined the scene of the accident and an initial investigation showed that the bus driver lost control of the vehicle and caused the accident, said Colonel Nguyen Thien Tuan, from the provincial Traffic Police Department.
The bus, which is operated by Sao Viet Company, is designed to have 46 sleeper seats and a sitting seat, but it was carrying 53 people, including two drivers and a driver’s assistant, at the time of the accident.
A working group from the National Traffic Safety Committee, led by Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang, standing deputy chairman of the committee, arrived at the scene yesterday evening to coordinate with local forces in rescue activities.
Another team from the Ministry of Health, led by Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, and a group of doctors from Viet Duc Hospital, located in Hanoi, also arrived in Lao Cai to support the provincial general hospital in treating the victims.