Former execs at construction firms charged for Hanoi water pipe ruptures

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Investigators said Song Da water pipe has broken 14 times 2012, three years after it was installed. Photo credit: VnExpress Investigators said Song Da water pipe has broken 14 times 2012, three years after it was installed. Photo credit: VnExpress

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Vietnamese prosecutors on Wednesday ratified charges against nine former executives of a state-owned construction firm, holding them responsible for multiple water pipe ruptures that have affected tens of thousands in Hanoi since 2012.
The dismissed leaders of Vinaconex Corporation will stand trial under the charges of "violating construction regulations causing serious consequences." A court date has not been set. 
Vinaconex was in charge of the US$70-million Song Da pipe system which runs 45.8 kilometers through Hanoi 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. The pipe was supposed to last at least 50 years.
An investigation was launched in July 2014 after the pipe had broken for the ninth time.
Local media have counted 17 ruptures so far, most recently on December 31.
Investigators said families depending on the pipe were put in dire situation every time, in a few cases for as long as three days.
Police said the recurring problem has cost Vinaconex more than VND13.4 billion ($602,500) fixing the pipe, and more than VND1 trillion ($44 million) installing a new water pipe to prevent similar crises.
The alternative system is expected to be put into use this summer. 

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