Road accidents killed 55 during Lao New Year

Updated: 2011-04-19 15:19


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VIENTIANE - Road accidents killed 55 people in Laos during the week of the Lao New year celebrations (April 11-17 ), local media reported on Tuesday.

Drunk-driving and speeding were the main causes of more than 200 road accidents that took place nationwide over the period, and the number of deaths increased by over 27 percent compared to the same period last year, Traffic Police Department Deputy Director General, Lieutenant Colonel Khamthavai Phetouthay, was quoted as saying by Vientiane Times in Laos' capital of Vientiane.

During the three official days of the New Year holiday (April 14-16), 28 people died and 36 others were seriously injured in 157 accidents that damaged 280 vehicles.

The number of accidents over the three days fell from 170 last year, while collisions between motorbikes were most frequent among 61 accidents, while 35 involved cars.

Khamthavai said one of the most serious accidents occurred in Laos' southern province of Champassak on April 13, when a heavy truck hit a smaller truck at high speed, killing six people.

In Vientiane, 49 accidents caused five fatalities and 11 serious injuries over the New Year, the highest number nationwide.

The traffic police department said most accidents occurred in the evenings when motorists were drunk and driving home or on their way to a party.  

Road safety is said to be a huge problem in Laos, particularly during festivals when many motorists ignore police requests to refrain from drinking and driving.


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