Japanese diplomat honors Vietnam bridge's casualties

By Hanh Nguyen, Thanh Nien News

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Japanese Consul General Nakajima Satoshi burns incense for the victims of the 2007 Can Tho Bridge collapse at Bo De Pagoda in Vinh Long Province on October 5. Photo: Hanh Nguyen Japanese Consul General Nakajima Satoshi burns incense for the victims of the 2007 Can Tho Bridge collapse at Bo De Pagoda in Vinh Long Province on October 5. Photo: Hanh Nguyen

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During a trip to promote investment in the Mekong Delta, Japanese Consul General Nakajima Satoshi visited a pagoda where he burned incense for the 55 construction workers who died building the Can Tho Bridge in 2007.
Standing before the commemorative stele at the nearby Bo De Pagoda, Satoshi once again expressed his condolences to the families of the workers who died in the collapse which occurred on September 26.
On that day, two massive spans collapsed on the Vinh Long Province side of the bridge as roughly 120 construction workers were positioned 30 meters above the road and 100 others were working on the ground.
Eighty men survived with injuries.
Satoshi and a group of Japanese delegates visited the site and the victims' bereaved families.
“When driving across this bridge, I always remember the accident and the 55 victims,” he said.
He said the bridge, located on the backbone National Highway 1A in the Mekong Delta, has contributed significantly to the region’s development.
That progress can be directly attributed to the brave sacrifice of the workers who were so commited the spirit of bilateral cooperation, he said.
Satoshi was visiting Vinh Long, Can Tho and Soc Trang to promote cooperation and investment.
He said Japan can further assist Vietnam as it develops its infrastructure and improves its overall agricultural productivity throughout the Mekong Delta.
“We are encouraging enterprises to survey and invest in the Mekong Delta,” he said.
Construction of the US$342 million Can Tho Bridge began in 2004 and completed in 2010 to replace a ferry on the Hau River – a tributary of the Mekong River.
The bridge shortened the travel time from Can Tho to Vinh Long by half an hour.
It became Southeast Asia’s longest cable-stayed bridge with total length of 2,750 meters (9,022 feet) and was funded with Japanese aid.
The accident was considered the most serious disaster in Vietnam's history.
 

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