15 Dead Found With Sunken Bus

In Asia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

Rescuers in Vietnam recovered the bodies of 15 passengers who drowned when their bus was swept away in floodwaters that have killed a total of 74 people, police said.

Thousands of onlookers gathered beside the Lam River to watch as a crane recovered the blue and white long-distance bus that, police said, was swept off Vietnam’s main north-south highway on Monday.

“We have pulled out 15 bodies, including three children aged between seven months and three years old,” said Tran Van Long, deputy head of Nghi Xuan district police in Ha Tinh province.

“Some of the bodies have been identified and handed to relatives to bring back home for burial.”

Police officers and soldiers in small boats pulled the bodies of some victims from the water.

Mr Long said a search would continue for five others that may have floated away.

The state Vietnam News said the coach was discovered 300 metres from the highway.

Ha Tinh and adjacent Nghe An province recorded the largest number of casualties in the floods, sparked by heavy rains late last week, the national flood and storm control department said.

Deaths were also reported in two other provinces. About 270,000 homes and 56,000 hectares of crops were inundated in the region, the department said.

Total losses are estimated at $36.5 million, as floodwaters continued to recede on Thursday, state media reported.

The Vietnam News showed prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in helmet and orange vest, helping to distribute aid to flood victims in Ha Tinh.

The prime minister warned that officials would be held responsible if any flood victims were allowed to go hungry, the report said.

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