Three Killed as Bus Plunges Off Mountain Road in Myanmar’s Shan State

By Zarni Mann 17 June 2020

MANDALAY—Three people were killed and several were injured in a bus accident on the Mandalay-Muse highway in northern Shan State’s Gote Twin Valley on Wednesday.

A Min Thar Gyi company bus carrying 16 people, including the driver and two conductors, was traveling from Magwe to Lashio when it went off the road and fell down a mountain slope at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

“We have carried the bodies of the driver and another man. Another woman with serious injuries died on the way to hospital. Eight others with serious injuries were sent to Pyin Oo Lwin Hospital,” said U Zaw Zaw Aung of the Naung Cho fire brigade and rescue team.

According to the rescue teams, the other injured passengers were taken to Naung Cho Hospital for treatment.

“The bus seems to have had a brake failure. One of the passengers told us that the driver shouted that the brakes were not working and warned them to hold onto something—then the bus dove down,” said U Zaw Zaw Aung of the victims’ account.

The mountainous highway road crossing the Gote Twin Valley connects Naung Cho and Kyaukme townships and is a dangerous route due to winding switchbacks across the steep slopes.

On Monday, heavy rains caused landslides across some parts of the road near the Gote Twin Bridge, though the road was still passable.

“Some parts of the road in Gote Twin Valley have been ruined, however cars and trucks can still go,” said an official from the Naung Cho administration office who was at the scene of the rescue. “The bus accident was not related to the landslide. It was due to the brake failure and a lack of driving skills on this route.”

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