Expressway accident that killed eight due to careless driving


An accident on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway that killed eight people was due to carelessness, for which the driver will be put on trial, according to information released yesterday by the Myanmar Police Force.
A fire that broke out in a car near milestone 4/2 on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway on 21 February was found to be careless accident, and it is learnt Aung Khant Zwe Myanmar, alias Aung Khant, was put on trial, filed under section 304/A of the penal code.
One of the tyres on a rented Toyota Hiace traveling to Yangon from Nay Pyi Taw burst near milestone 4/2 on the expressway and hit the railing of the traffic island, causing a puncture of the petrol tank and a resulting fire.
The blaze claimed eight lives — one man and seven women on board. The driver Aung Khant, son of U Zaw Moe Kyaw, had a case opened against him by the No. 3 Junction expressway police-station. The incident was investigated by the crime investigation police force, it was learnt.
The crime investigation police force interrogated Aung Khant Zwe Myanmar and 20 main eyewitnesses, seizing 17 pieces of evidence.
In the investigation, it was learnt that on January 18, U Win Tun, the CEO of Hexagon Myanmar Construction in Thingangyun township, hired a Toyota Hiace van for 70,000 kyats per day, with Aung Khant as the driver. Passengers in the vehicle were company staff: Ma Myat Myat Aye, Ma May Thu Ko, Ma Khin Thida, Ma Khine Myat Oo, Ma Thin Thin Maw, Ma Yu Yadanar Lin and Ma Win Pa Pa Htay. On the evening of 20 February, they left Bagan for Yangon, and he and Aung Khant drove in turns. At11:30 pm, they arrived at the Denko station in order to refill the vehicle with petrol. They left and made a brief stop on the roadside near the Taungoo signboard at about 3:15 am or so, on February 21 to take a short nap in the car.
They resumed their trip and arrived at the 39 mile, 4 furlong mark at 7 am or so, refilling petrol at the Nilar Yoma station and had breakfast at the Thabyeyeik restaurant. At about 7:30am, they resumed traveling with Aung Khant at the wheel. At the time, U Win Tun sat to the left of the driver with seven women in the rear part of the van. Upon arrival at milestone 4/2, the van tried to overtake the car ahead, hitting the 91-feet long guard rail at full speed. The sensor system in the bumper automaticlly locked the doors. Aung Khant was able to open the driver’s door and got out. At that time, the passenger door was found open but U Win Tun could not exit because his leg was trapped under the dented dashboard, preventing Aung Khant from pulling him out.
U Win Soe Aung, driving a white Probox, saw the accident in his rearview mirror and stopped the car to rush to the Hiace to help. At that time, the petrol tank burst into flames, causing him to jump backward.
Soon after a Toyota Safari driven by U Ne Lin Ooarrived and helped extinguish the fire. They tried to break the back door with concrete stone, but the flames hindered their efforts. With the Hi Ace still on fire, Khun Yan Naing Oo and his family arrived to help.
Khun Yan Naing Oo gave a mobile phone to survivors of the accident so they could inform their families. Aung Khant made a call to his mother.
The case was found to be a careless accident. The true situation was explained to respective families of the dead by the crime investigation police force.
The case was sent to Yangon Region’s Chief Legal Office, and Aung Khant was put on trial at the Hlegu township judicial court under section 304/A, according to the Myanmar Police Force. The trial continues.

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