Tag Archives: accidents

Road Accidents Continue to Plague Vientiane Capital

Road Accidents in Vientiane

Road accidents continue to plague Vientiane Capital, with the latest figures for the year so far reaching a staggering 525 cases, according to a recent announcement by police.

Traffic Accidents Bleeding the Lao Economy

Traffic Accidents in Laos

Traffic accidents are one of the largest causes of death in the Lao PDR, and are also causing massive economic losses, according to one economist.

Police reports state that 1,086 deaths were caused by traffic accidents in 2016, with the number of injuries caused by traffic accidents reaching 8,912.  The total number of accidents reached 5,616, and the cost of these accidents was a whopping 83 billion kip.

According to a recent Vientiane Times article, senior economist at the National Economic Research Institute, Dr Leeber Leebouapao, losses from road accidents amount to nearly 1 percent of Gross Domestic Product, which saw growth at 6.9 percent last year.

Dr Leeber feels that road accidents should be placed at the top of the nation’s agenda, and calls upon all sectors to devise programs and awareness campaigns that will help to mitigate the problem.

He went on to say that fatalities caused by road accidents in Laos were higher than deaths caused by wars or political conflicts in some countries.

Without urgent measures being taken, the situation will be unlikely to see improvement. Accidents cause tremendous financial losses to the state, and negatively affect society.

These costs include personal costs to victims families, property damage, ambulance and hospital cover. Accidents involving essential members of the workforce can also directly affect the nation’s human resources.

The rise in accidents is connected to the rapid economic development seen in Laos, which has led to an increase in vehicle ownership among the population. Growing demand for personal transportation and a lack of public transport options only adds to the issue.

The country’s very reputation is at stake, with reports appearing in foreign news media regarding the astonishing accident rate in Laos.

Dr Leeber added that road accidents are a huge drain on time and money, and law enforcement has not been serious about taking action toward a viable solution.

Four People Killed in UXO-related Accidents over 10 Months

Four people have died and 11people have been injured in UXO-related accidents from January to October 2016, according to a report from the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao).

The report was disclosed on Friday at UXO Lao’s annual meeting to summarise their work over the past year and plan for the year ahead.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, UXO Lao Director Mr Thipphasone Soukhathammavong, and other officials.

An official from UXO Lao said that from January to October of this year there had been seven UXO-related accidents in which 11 people sustained injuries and four people died.

Three of the accidents occurred in Xieng Khuang province where two people sustained injuries and one was killed.

Another incident in Savannakhet province saw two people sustain injuries.

In Attapeu province, an explosion resulted in five people being injured and one being killed.

An accident in Khammuan province injured one person and killed two, while in Champassak province an explosion injured one person.

Explosions typically occur during the transport, dismantling or burning of UXO, or while villagers are working in their fields.

U XO Lao has worked with international organisations to clear UXO from 2,147 hectares of land, of which 93 percent is needed for farming and 7 percent for development purposes.

Some 84,402 cluster munitions were cleared, including 68,639 bombies and other items. On average, 21 bombies per hectare have been found.

UXO Lao’s target is to remove UXO from 3,200 hectares of land in the provinces of Huaphan, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khuang, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan, Xekong, Attapeu and Champassak.

Addressing the meeting, Dr Khampheng said UXO Lao’s goal is to reduce the number of casualties and provide assistance to the survivors of UXO-related accidents.

During the Indochina War from 1964-73 some 3 million tonnes of UXO were dropped o n Laos, including about 270 million sub-munitions from cluster bombs and about 4 million aircraft bombs.

Tests in the United States have found that cluster munitions have a failure rate of up to 30 percent, meaning a large amount of unexploded devices still remain in Laos.

A total of 87,000 square kilometres of land are thought to be contaminated with UXO.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Forty-three People Killed in Two Weeks of Accidents

In just a two week span from October 31 to November 13, there were 221 road accidents around the country, causing 43 fatalities, according to the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security.

The department told Vientiane Times on Friday that compared to the same period last month, the number of accidents dropped from 331 to 221, but the number of fatalities rose from 38 to 43.

Some 54 victims were left in a critical condition, 124 were seriously injured and 139 sustained minor injuries.

A total of 17 vehicles were written off, 183 sustained moderate damage and 172 sustained minor damage.

Vientiane topped the list with 62 accidents, killing eight people, while 84 people were injured and 123 vehicles were damaged.

This month saw festivities to mark the That Luang Festival, which meant a heavy increase in drunk driving.

Alcohol is recognised as being a major cause of road accidents and this year incidents of drunk driving are higher than ever.

According to the Traffic Police Department, motorbikes were involved in 95 percent of the accidents, with male drivers making up 90 percent of the fatalities.

The number of road accidents overall continues to increase. About 90 percent of accidents involve drunken driving, speeding and other violations of the traffic rules. Many accidents occur on weekends and special occasions when people get together to drink.

A recent accident occurred along T4 Road in Donkoy village, Sisattanak district, Vientiane, when a car and two motorbikes were involving a fatal collision while driving in opposite directions.

Mr Phaivanh, 32, from Phonsavanh village, Sisattanak district, died in the crash, while Mr Chanthasone, from Oudomphon village, Xaythany district, sustained moderate injuries.

Another incident occurred along Road 13 North in Songpeuay village, Naxaithong district, when a pickup and a motorbike were involved in a collision that killed the motorbike rider instantly.

Police said the pickup was travelling past Songpeuay market when it collided head-on with the motorbike. The deceased was named as Mr Vankham, 37, from Phonkhor village, Hadxaifong district.

Yet another accident occurred in Viengphoukha district, Luang Namtha province, when an excavator crushed a man after it fell off the back of a truck. The victim was identified as Mr Oudomxap, 32, from Nahom village, Namtha district. Police are continuing their investigations into all of the incidents.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Over 200 Fatalities in 10 Months of Traffic Accidents

Over 200 people were killed in road accidents around Vientiane in the first 10 months of this year, with most of the crashes attributed to drunken driving.

Deputy Chief of the Vientiane Traffic Police Department, Major Sangkhom Phommalath, reported that from January to October there were 1,275 road accidents in the capital and 215 people were killed.

This was an increase on the same period last year and, once again, most road accidents occurred as a result of drunken driving and speeding.

On average about five people died each week. Most of the accidents occurred in Xaythany and Chanthabouly districts.

Some 295 people were left in a critical condition, 793 were seriously injured and 514 people were slightly injured.

In addition, 214 vehicles were written off, 1,623 sustained moderate damage and 870 vehicles sustained minor damage. The cost of the damage was estimated at over 10 billion kip. Major Sangkhom Phommalath said the Vientiane Traffic Police Department periodically runs road safety campaigns to remind motorists of the traffic regulations and hopefully prevent accidents.

Police have also been spreading the road safety message around schools and offices in the capital. They attempt to get motorists’ attention by explaining the traffic regulations, showing photos of accidents, and teaching people how to prevent accidents.

Police set up a road safety booth at the That Luang Festival this year in a bid to stem the rising number of accidents during festivals and holidays.

Last year, the police road safety booth attracted public interest thanks to its various activities and the prizes that were on offer.

The number of road accidents overall continues to increase. About 90 percent of accidents involve drunken driving, speeding and other violations of the traffic rules.

Many accidents occur on weekends and special occasions when people get together to drink. Most of the accidents involve motorbikes and occur in the evening and at night.

Source: Vientiane Times

Six Killed in UXO-related Accidents This Year

Some 40 people have been injured and six fatalities recorded in UXO-related accidents so far this year, according to a report from the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for UXO/Mine Action in Laos.

The information was contained in a report presented at the UXO Working Group Meeting 2016 in Vientiane on Wednesday which was attended by Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, US Ambassador to Laos, Ms Rena Bitter, UNDP Resident Representative Ms Kaarina Immonen, NRA Director General Mr Phoukhieo Chanthasomboun, and other officials.

According to the NRA report, so far this year there have been 24 UXO-related accidents in which 40 people sustained injuries and six deaths had been reported (according to monthly progress data for the first nine months of the year).

Explosions typically occur during the transport, dismantling or burning of UXO, or while villagers are working in their fields.

In the first nine months of 2016, a total of 3,255 hectares of land was cleared. This included 2,214 hectares of agricultural land and 1,011 of development land. In the same period, more than 86,000 UXO items were destroyed, of which more than 70,000 were bombies.

Non-technical surveys were completed in 735 villages in 2016 representing 92 percent of the planned annual target within the sector’s five year plan. Technical surveys covered 12,993 hectares, establishing 8,138 hectares of Confirmed Hazardous Area. There are now a total of 29,103 hectares of Confirmed Hazardous Area.

The NRA has also set a target to reduce the number of UXO casualties to less than 40 a year and to provide assistance to at least 1,500 UXO victims from 2016-2020.

Risk education activities have been conducted in nine provinces across the country. As a result, the number of UXO casualties has steadily reduced from 119 in 2010 to 45 people in 2014.

In addition, UXO risk education will be included in the education curriculum, especially in primary and secondary schools.

Medical rehabilitation and work opportunities will be provided to UXO survivors, targeting 1,500 people by 2020.

One of the major challenges for the government is sourcing funding for clearance operations. NRA must continue to mobilise funds because the budget allocated to victim assistance is very limited at present.

However, during the ASEAN Summits in September the UXO sector announced contributions from the United States of US$90 million and US$7.2 million from New Zealand for clearance efforts and to assist UXO victims.

During the Indochina War from 1964-73 about three million tonnes of UXO were dropped on Lao territory, including about 270 million sub-munitions from cluster bombs and about four million aircraft bombs. Tests in the United States have found that these types of cluster munitions can have a failure rate of up to 30 percent. This means that land remains contaminated in Laos. The provinces in which contamination can be found constitute a total of 87 thousand square kilometres of the country’s land.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Road Accidents on the Rise

The number of road accidents increased while the number of deaths fell during this year’s boat racing festival, according to the Vientiane Traffic Police Department.

Almost 1,000 Died in Road Accidents, a Statistical Report says

Some 995 lives were claimed by road accidents in Laos last year with Vientiane topping the list of road accident death toll density, the National Statistics Bureau said in the recently released Statistical Yearbook 2015.