Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has given orders to handle a serious traffic accident that occurred in the northern province of Lao Cai on September 1, claiming at least 18 lives.

In his dispatch, the PM conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased, whilst requesting the relevant agencies to mobilise resources to treat the injured, investigate the causes of the accident, and put measures in place to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.

A bus with 53 passengers, including the drivers, plunged into an abyss at around 7 pm on September 1 in Tong Sanh village, Bat Sat district, killing at least 18 and injuring more than 30 people.

The accident occurred when the driver of the bus, owned by Sao Viet (Viet Star) Company, lost control of the vehicle on a route from the tourist town of Sa Pa to Lao Cai city in Lao Cai province, crashing into a 200m abyss.

Lao Cai authorities mobilised all the necessary resources to provide rescue assistance and take survivors to hospital.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also head of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, urged the Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and leaders of the Ministry of Health to work closely with local authorities in dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy./.