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Vietnam bus crashes into riverbank killing 34, injuring 20

Bus flips, smashes through guardrail and slams into ground 60 feet below.

Vietnam bus crashEnlarge
A bus crashed into the Serepok River in Vietnam on May 17, 2012, killing 34 people and injuring at least 20. (HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

A bus crashed into a riverbank in Vietnam late Thursday killing 34 and injuring 20, BBC News reported today.

Thirty-two of the victims – including the driver – died at the scene, and two others died later in hospital.

Of those hurt, officials said 16 are in serious condition.

Survivors said the bus flipped on a bridge over the Serepok River, smashed through a guardrail and fell 60 feet to the ground, The Associated Press said.

Only part of the bus was under water, and it took rescuers four hours to recover bodies.

“I vaguely heard a noise like a gun fire and then people were screaming when the bus was overturned,” survivor Nguyen Van Khanh said, according to the AP. “I managed to escape through a window which was smashed opened by others.”

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The bus was traveling to Ho Chi Minh City from Buon Ma Thuot in the central highland province of Dak Lak.

Recovery teams pulled the bus from the riverbank early this morning, an official told Agence France-Presse.

“We are investigating the cause of the accident and identifying the victims,” the official said, according to AFP.

Even though Vietnam has some of the highest death tolls from motor-vehicle crashes, this is one of the country’s worst, AFP said.

An estimated 11,000 people – more than 30 per day – die on Vietnam’s roads every year.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/vietnam/120518/vietnam-bus-crashes-riverbank-killing-34-injuring-