11 people die in accident in Armenia. Analysis of the situation
Car accident in Armenia near the village of Lanjik
Residents of Armenia are actively discussing on social networks an accident on the Yerevan-Gyumri highway, near the village of Landzhik, which led to the death of 11 people. On the night of August 14, at about 00:30, a Volkswagen passenger minibus and a ZIL truck collided on the 90th km of the road.
In 2021, a tragic incident occurred on the 50th km of the same highway, the Gazelle drove off the roadway and rolled over. Five people died.
According to the head of the Driver’s Friend NGO, Tigran Keyan, despite the obvious problems, no security work has been carried out on this section of the road for two years. In this he sees the fault of state structures.
According to the statistics committee, 2,098 traffic accidents were registered in Armenia in the first half of 2023. 2,910 people were injured.
Six of the injured are in hospital
As a result of a collision with a truck, 11 of the 17 passengers of the minibus died, 6 people were taken to hospitals with injuries of varying degrees. They continue to receive treatment, five are in intensive care units. The truck driver is also in critical condition.
The minibus was carrying a group of tourists returning from Turkey after a three-day trip to the western part of historical Armenia. The tour was organized by Hamshen Tour. The guide who accompanied the group of tourists also died.
According to the investigative committee, after the accident the minibus was found in its lane. It was heading to Yerevan. The truck that collided with him was in the oncoming lane, in the direction of the city of Gyumri.
Law enforcement agencies report that “urgent measures are being taken to clarify the causes of the accident”, on the basis of which a legal assessment of the actions of drivers will be given.
“In this case, a criminal case was initiated on the grounds of part 3 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia: violation of traffic safety rules or the operation of vehicles, which, through negligence, led to the death of two or more people,” the press secretary of the head of the investigation committee, Gor Abrahamyan, wrote on his Facebook page.
Representatives of the Sinohydro corporation, which is the contractor for the restoration work on the Lanjik-Gyumri road, claim that this section “was equipped with appropriate safety features, markings were made, and road signs were installed.”
“The speed limit at the scene of the accident is 50 km/h,” the company said in a statement.
Tigran Keyan, head of the Driver’s Friend NGO, says that construction is underway on one section of the Yerevan-Gyumri road, while on the other, it has been suspended for some reason. In his opinion, both sections are dangerous for travel:
“There is no lighting, no temporary road signs, markings. And it is not clear whether you are driving in your own lane or on the opposite side of the road. That’s why this tragic incident happened.”
The expert emphasized that if the traffic lanes were demarcated, then the cars “would not have collided head-on.”
According to him, it’s not just about markup. In countries that monitor traffic safety, lanes are separated by small plastic posts on which light beacons are placed.
“The road must be clearly arranged so that drivers understand which section they need to drive until the construction in this area is completed. We have not done this kind of work. If everything had been done properly, the accident rate on this road would have decreased by 50-60 percent,” he stressed.
Keyan claims that in terms of road construction work, the entire territory of Armenia is in an unsatisfactory state.
“There are a number of criminal cases against those who are building this North-South road. And on their sites, construction work has been suspended. [Therefore] the state should monitor the security of these territories,” he said.
The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, according to the expert, does not perform this function, and the companies “simply block the road with tape and start digging a hole.”
He believes that the answer to the question of which of the drivers is guilty should be investigated by the investigation. At the same time, he notes that such a powerful collision could not have happened if “they had observed the speed limit established for this section of the road.”
Car accident in Armenia, near the village of Lanjik