Nam Dinh, Vietnam: Illegal level crossings implicated in fatal accidents

30 Sep

20140929165847-so8Large numbers of illegal level crossings are being blamed for many of the recent level crossing accidents in the northern province of Nam Dinh. .So far this year, six people have been killed and nine injured in 15 level crossing accidents in the province. All of the crossings at which theses accidents occurred are said to have been set up without any permission from the competent authorities.

Nguyen Van Dung, Deputy Director of the Ha Ninh Railway has said that of the 261 known level crossing along the province’s 41km railway system, only 44 were recognised as having the necessary legal authority and equipped with controls ranging from signs, automatic warning equipment or staffed by the railway. The problem is exacerbated by highways paralleling either side of the railway

So far, the number of locally created unapproved crossings in the province from 354 yo 261 by erecting effective fencing along 12km of the railway.

Provincial authorities have already reduced the number of illegal crossing from 354 to 261 by erecting about 12km of corrugated iron fence along the tracks, Mr Dung said. In many cases communes have taken the view that the problem is entirely that of the railway despite them having provided residents and businesses with land that can only access the highway by crossing the railway. This stance has extended to a lack of enforcement.

One of the worst examples relates to five companies in Tan Thanh Commune, Vu Ban District, have constructed level crossings for heavy commercial road traffic.

Recently, on September 19th, 2014 a train carrying more than 300 passengers fcollided with a truck straddling the railway leading to the locomotive derailing and two rail staff sustaining injuries. Damage has been estimated at VND10 billion (USD476,100) in damage.

To reduce the accident rate the railway has said that it wants to work with communes and community based organisations.

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