20 SMU students hurt in Vietnam bus accident

Emergency personnel at the scene of the accident in the central city of Hue, in Vietnam, last Saturday. One of the two buses carrying the students hit a kerb, and all 20 students on board were flung from their seats.
Emergency personnel at the scene of the accident in the central city of Hue, in Vietnam, last Saturday. One of the two buses carrying the students hit a kerb, and all 20 students on board were flung from their seats.PHOTO: TUOI TRE NEWS

Twenty Singapore undergraduates on an outing after completing a service project in Vietnam were injured last Saturday when their bus hit a kerb.

The Singapore Management University (SMU) students were part of a group of 30 in the central city of Hue for an annual project organised by the university's Rotaract Club.

They had been in the country since April 28, and completed the project last Thursday.

They were enjoying a recreational break last Friday and Saturday when the accident happened, SMU said in a statement yesterday.

One of the two buses carrying the students hit a kerb, and all 20 students on board were flung from their seats.

The students were heading back to their hotel. Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported that they had left Bach Ma National Park when the accident occurred at about 3pm.

The injured students were first taken to a local hospital, but were later moved to the International Hospital Hue Central for assessment and treatment.

The most serious injuries were a leg and wrist fracture, and a neck injury. These two injured students are said to be in stable condition, and will be flown home by air ambulance when they are able to travel.

The other students suffered bruises and abrasions, SMU said.

The university said it activated medical and travel security services company International SOS to provide support on the ground on Saturday evening after it was alerted to the incident.

On Sunday, two SMU employees and a medical team from International SOS also flew to Vietnam. The Singapore Embassy in Vietnam was also informed and sent officers to offer consular assistance.

Three students who were not hurt returned to Singapore on Sunday evening on their scheduled flight. The rest who stayed but were not hurt or had been cleared for travel chose to stay to assist and support their peers, SMU said.

"We will continue to stay in regular contact with our students to monitor their situation," the university said.

"Their safety remains the university's top priority, and we will provide the best possible assistance to them accordingly."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline '20 SMU students hurt in Vietnam bus accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe