Execs at construction firm face charges for Hanoi water pipe ruptures

By Thai Son – Duc Hoa, Thanh Nien News

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Workers in Hanoi check a part of Song Da water pipe after it broke in July 2015. Photo: Dan Ha Workers in Hanoi check a part of Song Da water pipe after it broke in July 2015. Photo: Dan Ha

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The Ministry of Public Security are seeking criminal charges against nine executives at a state-owned construction firm for numerous ruptures on a major Hanoi water pipe over the past three years.
Investigators at the ministry said in their proposal to the Supreme People’s Procuracy that the group of nine from Vinaconex Corporation should be charged with “violations of construction regulations causing serious consequences.”
They said Tran Cao Bang, director of the Fiberglass Pipeline Company at Vinaconex, who was in charge of quality checks and production of fiberglass pipe had the main responsibility. 
Vinaconex was in charge of the US$70-million Song Da pipe system which runs 45.8 kilometers through the city downtown and provides clean water for around 70,000 families.
But investigation found the project uses fiberglass pipes of poor quality that could not sustain the water pressure, causing various ruptures since 2012, three years after it was installed.
Investigators opened probe in July last year after the pipe broke for the ninth time.
Local media have counted 16 ruptures so far, but investigators said in their report that the system broke 14 times. 
Investigators said families depending on the pipe were put in dire situation every time, in a few cases for as long as three days.
Vinaconex meanwhile had to spend more than VND13.4 billion ($590,000) fixing the pipe, and more than VND1 trillion ($44 million) installing a new pipeline to prevent similar crises.

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