​No death in multiple crashes on highway shrouded with grass-burning smoke in southern Vietnam

​No death in multiple crashes on highway shrouded with grass-burning smoke in southern Vietnam

A car concertinas following a crash along the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway in Southern Vietnam, April 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

No deaths were reported in multiple crashes on an expressway leading to Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, when the road was blanketed with smoke, resulting in poor visibility that could well have led to a traffic tragedy.

The chain-reaction crashes took place at around 2:30 pm on the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, when all drivers could hardly see anything due to a dense mass of grass smoke covering the road.

The 55-kilometer expressway links Ho Chi Minh City with Dong Nai Province.

The Google Maps location (red) of the smoke-caused accident along the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway in Southern Vietnam, April 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Google Maps location (red) of the smoke-caused accident along the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway in Southern Vietnam, April 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

One of the crashes is a pile-up involving a tank truck and three passenger buses. Four passengers on one of the involved buses were injured, according to Nguyen Thi Hoang Phuong, deputy director of the Vietnam Expressway Services Engineering JSC, the operator of domestic freeways.

Three of the injured people were discharged from the hospital while one has been referred to another infirmary for advanced care.

Phuong put the accident down to a great cloud of smoke rising from a nearby burning paddy field and to winds that blew it onto the highway.

Poor visibility therefore resulted on all the lanes in both directions of the affected road portion, she concluded.

Beside this crash, four cars also slammed into each other near Dong Mon Bridge on the carriageway of the highway which leads to Long Thanh from Ho Chi Minh City, causing congestion on both carriageways.

Phuong also said that while police were dealing with the problems on the carriageway leading to Long Thanh amidst a curtain of smoke, two collisions involving multiple cars played out on the other half, but no one died.

A traffic tie-up appeared on both directions of the road.

Burning grass and straw in paddy fields after a harvest or before farmers grow rice is a common practice in getting rid of the dried plants.

The deputy director attributed the above road accidents to strong winds which changed directions unpredictably, bringing clouds of dense smoke to fill the expressway.

Her firm had spotted three fires adjacent to the highway, which it extinguished by itself.

The authorities of the area where the crashes took place said that they have repeatedly warned famers against burning along the road and the generation of smoke responsible for the pile-ups this time was unintentional.

Police are investigating the case.

A water truck puts out a fire along the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway in Southern Vietnam, April 3, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Here are pictures of the accident and its aftermath:

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