12 Killed, Dozens Feared Dead in Deadliest Road Accident in Chin State
26 November 2010: 12 people are confirmed dead and dozens are still missing in what could be the deadliest ever road accident in Chin State.
At around 11:30 this morning, a passenger bus carrying about 50 people plunged off a steep terrain about 12 miles from Tedim town of northern Chin State, killing at least 12 people with dozens still unaccounted for. Only 3 persons reportedly escaped the deadly accident unharmed.
12 bodies have been recovered as of 7:00 p.m. this evening, and volunteer rescuers are still searching for the rest of the passengers and are now fearing the worst. The accident occurred at Vial Cian, halfway between Tonzang and Tedim town.
The bus, serviced by a local transportation company Chin Taungtan, was carrying Christians who were on their way to attend the celebration of Rev. J Cope Centenary to be held in Tedim Town this weekend. Rev. Cope was the American Baptist missionary who arrived in the area 100 years ago this month.
The Cope Centennial Celebration was originally scheduled to take place on 4-7 November. However, it had to be postponed as the timing coincided with Burma’s elections earlier this month.
Contacted by Chinland Guardian, a community leader in Tedim Town said the bus was ‘overloaded’ with passengers. He said that organizers of the Cope Centennial Celebration in Tedim are at the scene of the accident helping in the rescue efforts.
The cause of the accident remains unknown.
The least developed region in Burma with little infrastructure, road conditions in the rugged hills of Chin State are extremely dangerous, especially during the monsoon season. Chin State was hit by one of the worst storms and heavy rains this year, causing landslides, flooding and damages to crops. Monsoon starts around late May and last until October in the area.