Vietnam passenger bus crash kills 34, dozens injured

HANOI Fri May 18, 2012 12:08am EDT

HANOI May 18 (Reuters) - A passenger bus plunged into a river in Vietnam's Central Highlands at night killing 34 people and injuring at least 25 others, state-run newspapers reported on Friday.

The bus slammed into Serepok River on Thursday night while passing a bridge between Daklak and Dak Nong provinces, crushing many to death, the news website VNExpress (vnexpress.net) quoted Daklak's Deputy Chairman Dinh Van Khiet as saying.

"The front head of the bus was submerged and deformed, making it hard for the rescue work," Khiet was quoted as saying. He said 34 people were killed and 25 or 26 others injured.

The website showed photographs of people pulling wreckage of the bus from the river and police placing bodies on a mattress. Daklak is 350 km (220 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

Traffic accidents killed more than 3,100 people nationwide in the first four months of 2012, down 30 percent from the same period last year, Vietnam News cited government data as showing. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Michael Perry)

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