Family dies in bus explosion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 April, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 April, 1995, 12:00am

A MOTORCYCLIST watched in horror as an overloaded bus carrying his wife and son exploded in an isolated corner of northwestern Vietnam, killing all aboard.

Reports in Hanoi said the man was following on his motorcycle as the bus was so overloaded he could not get on.

The Russian-made bus was carrying explosives and it could be several days before the death toll is known.

Police in Lao Cai on Vietnam's border with China said yesterday 15 bodies had been found, but there may have been as many as 20 adults and a dozen children on the minibus.

The Lao Cai Bus Company vehicle was travelling on mountainous roads to Sa Pa before dawn on Sunday morning when the explosives, being carried illegally, ignited.

Explosives - often made in China - are widely used around Vietnam for mining, construction work and fishing and are frequently carried on public transport.

Their use and transport is often unregistered or illegal, while over-loading is an increasing problem.