Towboat owner, driver in Ghenh Bridge collapse prosecuted

Sunday, 2017-03-05 02:19:15
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The collapsed Ghenh Bridge disrupted operations of the north-south rail link for three months.
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NDO/VNA - The Dong Nai province People’s Procuracy said on March 4 that it has issued an indictment prosecuting two men involved in the collapse of the Ghenh Bridge spanning Dong Nai River, which disrupted operations of the north-south rail link for 90 days.

The prosecuted individuals are 62-year-old Phan The Thuong from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, owner of the towboat which caused the March 20 accident, and 36-year-old Tran Van Giang, residing in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, who was at the towboat’s wheel when it crashed into the bridge.

According to investigation results, Thuong asked Giang who does not possess a boating licence to steer the towboat coded SG-3745, which was towing a barge with plate SG-5984 carrying 800 tonnes of sand from the Mekong Delta region to Dong Nai.

While on route to Dong Nai the towboat’s engine stopped working when it came near the Ghenh Bridge. Due to a strong current, Giang was unable to steer the towboat, resulting in the barge hitting the bridge. Two spans of the bridge collapsed after the crash.

Giang and Nguyen Van Le, another person aboard, jumped into the river and were rescued by nearby fishing boats. They fled to Soc Trang afterwards.

Police said that as Le was only an assistant on board, he will not be prosecuted.

The Ghenh Bridge was built by the French in the 1900s during the colonial period and is used for both railway and land transportation.

The new Ghenh Bridge was put into use on July 2, 2016.