Bridge collapse interrupts southern railway in 3-5 months

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong has said that the North South railway’s stretch in the southern province of Dong Nai has been interrupted after a barge crashed into and collapsed the route’s key Ghenh Bridge on Sunday. It may take 3-5 months to repair the consequences.

Ghenh Bridge has collapsed after a crash by a barge, disrupting North South railway between Dong Nai and HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

(Photo: SGGP)

At 11:30a.m., the barge carrying 800 tons of sand and stones collided into the Ghenh Bridge spanning Dong Nai River in Bien Hoa city, Dong Nai province.

The accident sent three people together with motorbikes into the river. On the same day, all have been rescued without hurts, reported local rescue forces. 

After the accident, two steersmen jumped out from the barge, swam towards the river shore and fled the scene. They were then identified as an uncle and nephew.

The Criminal Police Agency under the Dong Nai Police Department on Monday arrested the two offenders Tran Van Giang, 36, and Nguyen Van Le, 28, while they were hiding in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang. They have been transferred to Dong Nai province for investigation.

The Ministry of Transport and authorized agencies will conduct field surveys to build a new bridge, tow the badge to safety preventing it from floating and causing accidents and work with Dong Nai authorities to guide boats traveling in the area.

According to deputy minister Nguyen Hong Truong, it is impossible to build a temporary bridge because railway industry requires high stability for heavy loading capacity.

Hence, train passengers have to travel by transit buses between Bien Hoa station and Saigon station. It will take about 3-5 months to build the new bridge and link up the North South railway’s stretch from Dong Nai to HCMC, said the deputy minister.

On the same day’s afternoon, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Van Khoa instructed Saigon Railway Station to notify passengers that it will continue service with transit buses. The Department of Transport should supply the best buses to transport passengers from HCMC to Bien Hoa and vice versa, he asked.

Secretary of the Dong Nai province Party Committee Nguyen Phu Cuong proposed rescue forces to continue searching operations to ensure that no one gets stuck in the badge which has sunk into the river.

The Ministry of Transport has set up a special working group led by Deputy Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong to assess the bridge collapse’s damage, investigate the cause, instruct measures to overcome the consequences and ensure road, railway and waterway transport.

The Police Department in Dong Nai province has coordinated with the Investigation Agency under the Ministry of Public Security to begin probe into the accident for breaking waterway traffic law, said the department’s deputy director Colonel Bui Huu Danh.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Public Security, the Dong Nai province People’s Committee and Vietnam Railways asking them to quickly overcome the incident’s consequences.

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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