Hanoi: At least 36 people died and 21 others injured in central Vietnam when their bus fell into a river after crashing through the banister of a bridge, Xinhua reported on Friday.
Some 60 passengers were on board when the accident happened around 10 pm on Thursday on Serepok Bridge on National Highway 14, about 960 km from Hanoi.
The bus was travelling on a regular 350-kilometre route from the central highland province of Dak Lak to the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City.
Y Bliu Arul, deputy director of the General Hospital in Dak Lak, says the bus` two drivers were among those who died at the scene. Of the 21 injured, 16 were in serious condition.
Que said it took rescuers four hours to pull the bodies from the bus, part of which was submerged in the river.
"When the accident happened, everyone in the bus was sleeping," online newspaper Dan Tri quoted survivor Nguyen Van Khanh as saying. "I vaguely heard a noise like a gun fire and then people were screaming when the bus was overturned. ... I managed to escape through a window which was smashed opened by others."
Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Road accidents kill more than 11,000 people each year in Vietnam.
(With Agencies’ inputs)