Hanoi police told to affix responsbility in construction site deaths

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Hanoi's labor department Friday said it has asked the city's police to investigate responsibilities of related agencies in an accident where four children drowned in a large construction site pit last week.

In an interview with VnExpress, Le Tuan Huu, deputy director of Hanoi's Department of Labors, Invalids and Social Affairs, said it appears that the contractor, Vinaconex - PVC Construction Investment JSC, had failed to erect warning signs as well as barriers around the deep pond.

The 400 square meters pit, two meters deep, was dug at the construction site of the Phu Do Thang Long Highway project in Tu Liem District. The "pond" was formed after heavy rains and it was just 20 meters away from the security guards' station.

The four children, who were between 11-14 years old and were two pairs of brothers, drowned after going out to play together on August 14.

The newswire quoted Huu as saying that local authorities and the contractors have so far supported the two suffered families with VND123 million (US$5,900) each.

Previously, on Monday, Nguyen Thanh Quynh, deputy director of Vinaconex, said the accident happened due to "objective factors" and that it wouldn't have happened if the families had paid enough attention to the children, according to VnExpress.

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However, several local lawyers said it was possible to sue the contractor for irresponsibility leading to critical consequences.

While the case is being investigated, the department has ordered district authorities to review all local construction sites and ensure that they are all surrounded with barriers and warning signs in accordance with the law, the VnExpress report said.

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