A bus carrying passengers and timber exploded near the border between Laos and Vietnam, killing eight and wounding several others. The passengers were all Vietnamese citizens, returning home to Nghe An province. Investigators believe firecrackers were the likely cause of the blast, though it is unclear how the explosives were ignited.

From VNExpress

Coach explosion kills eight Vietnamese in Laos

At around 4 a.m. today [Thursday], the Khanh Don Coach with Lao plate UN 3897 suddenly exploded as it was traveling through Kham Muon District, about 10 kilometers from the Cha Lo Border Gate in Vietnam’s central province of Quang Binh.

Police said they could smell firecrackers at the scene.

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From the AP

Bus explosion kills 8 Vietnamese in Laos

A local official says an explosion on a bus in southern Laos near Vietnamese border has killed eight people and injured three others.

All the victims were Vietnamese returning to their home province of Nghe An in central Vietnam, a border guard official at the Cha Lo checkpoint said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The Vietnamese driver and his assistant were unhurt.

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From the AFP and Singapore Times

8 Vietnamese killed in bus explosion on Laos border: Official

“After a huge bomb-like explosion, the bus was torn into pieces,” the site quoted passenger Pham Dinh Tu as saying. 

“I was in a back seat, sleeping, when I was thrown out and felt timber fall on my body. I fainted and later woke up to find myself in an ambulance,” he told the news site.

The report added that Laos authorities confirmed the dead were Vietnamese nationals working in Laos.

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From the Thanh Nien News

Firecrackers most likely cause of fatal bus blast, investigators say

The joint investigation carried out by authorities of the two countries found burnt firecracker wrappers scattering at the scene.

Investigators said the bus may have been transporting about 200 kg of firecrackers. It’s not clear yet how they were ignited.

The vehicle, owned by a Vietnamese company, was carrying 13 people, including 11 passengers, from Laos to Vietnam.

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