The An Giang Tourism Development Company has suspended operations of the fleet of vans that were carrying passengers to tourist and pilgrim sites on the top of Cam Mountain.
|The scene of the accident (photo BaoDatViet)|
In the rock slide on Saturday, six people were killed and two seriously injured after a van carrying seven passengers was crushed by a huge rolling boulder from atop the Cam Mountain, a popular tourist attraction in An Hao Commune of Tinh Bien District in An Giang Province.
Authorities mobilised traffic police and volunteers to guard the scene of the accident to prevent curious people from getting too close to the vulnerable area. They kept the main road leading to the top of the Cam Mountain blocked to the public.
However, hundreds of motorbikes still carried passengers to Cam Mountain. Some curious persons told reporters that they had to pay as much as VND100,000 to motorbike drivers for the short trip to the scene of the accident.
The road is too narrow and wet because of the rain so it is very dangerous for these persons as they may slip into the abyss.
Ly Thanh Sang, vice director of An Giang Tourism Company said that they were worried about the concentration of people at the scene.
They also feared the continuing falling of boulders, as there were five other boulders about 2-5 metres in diameter that could still fall on the road onto the Buddha Statue on the top of Cam Mountain.
The province had set up a team to investigate the reasons for the rockslide at Cam Mountain, but the cause has not been identified.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in An Giang excluded the cause of the rockslide as related to mineral exploiting, saying that for a very long time they had not issued a permit to any stone company.
However, witnesses said mining for road construction was one possible reason behind the rockslide.
Some drivers said they heard an explosion and saw columns of smoke shortly before seeing the van being crushed on the road.
Local residents said there had been landslides on Cam Mountain in the past. In the last few years, the provincial authority has built roads leading to the top of the Cam Mountain, which is 710 metres above sea level, including the 6.7 km road from the foot of the mountain to Van Linh Pagoda.
The Tinh Bien District People's Committee said they had donated VND14 million to each family of the dead passengers and VND1.5 million each to the injured. They also studied the possibility of evacuating local people from the danger zone.
The Department of Transport in An Giang Province is hiring workers of Huu Duan Company to break down the big stones so as to roll them down the mountain and clear the way.
Rockslide crushes six pilgrims to death