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Video: Vietnamese Boxship Strikes Construction Crane

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Work on the Binh Khanh Bridge, 2018 (Dong Mai Province)

Published Feb 23, 2021 6:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, a Vietnamese container feeder struck and destroyed a tower crane at a bridge construction site on the Long Tau River, just south of Ho Chi Minh City.  

At about 0600 hours on Sunday, the small boxship Phuc Khanh got under way down the Long Tau River on a trip from Ben Nghe Port, Ho Chi Minh City to Haiphong. At about 0830 hours, when she was nearing the new cable-stayed bridge, she lost power and drifted to port, grazing a barge before slamming into a tower crane adjacent to a bridge pillar. The crane was destroyed and fell onto the deck of the Phuc Khanh, damaging some of her cargo, according to the Vietnam Expressway Development Investment Corporation (VEC).

Beyond some damage to an anti-collision structure, there appears to have been little harm to the bridge pillar itself, VEC said. The total damage is estimated at about $850,000. 

The Phuc Khanh has returned to Ben Nghe Port, according to AIS tracking. She had about 350 boxes on board at the time of the casualty, and the extent of the cargo damage is under evaluation. 

The Binh Khanh Bridge construction project is part of the long delayed Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway, which is being built by Sumitomo Mitsui and Vietnamese partner Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. The $1.6 billion project is the longest highway in southern Vietnam, and when combined with related infrastructure improvements it will improve connectivity between Ho Chi Minh City and Cai Mep Port.

Work on the expressway started in 2015, but contractors have slowed down over the past year due to financing difficulties, according to local media. Two bridges along the highway have sustained cracking in more than 100 concrete piers due to design shortcomings, according to the State Capital Management Committee.