Labor safety negligence causes fatal accident in central Vietnam

TN News

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A lack of knowledge about electrical devices and labor safety in part has led to an electrical accident that killed six workers in the central province of Thanh Hoa, local authorities said on November 2.

The accident occurred on November 1 in Nong Cong District, according to Tran Van Thuc, spokesman for Thanh Hoa's police division. Local agencies are investigating invovled parties, including those responsible for contracting the workers. Thuc said police will seek charges soon.

Initial information indicates that six workers from the local Phuong Anh Co. were erecting an electric post when the device used to lift the post came in contact with high voltage wiring, transmitting electricity to the workers, and killing them all on the spot.

Two additional workers who were mixing concrete nearby were injured as well.

In a report published on November 3, Tuoi Tre quoted 25-year-old Nguyen Thanh Luan, one of the injured workers, as saying that all the contracted employees worked without being provided with labor safety equipment, and without being trained to safely work with wiring.

Luan said workers were contracted to erect the posts to connect wires of 0.4 kV from the Le Dinh Chinh Farm transformer station to a dorm at the Nong Cong Sugar Mill for VND1.3 million (US$61.9) per post.

According to the worker, the accident occurred when six of them were working on the third post.

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"When I was burying the second post, I suddenly heard Truong [one of the workers] scream. I rushed there, and I heard an electrical leakage and saw the 35kv-wire which was above the wire we were connecting, burning," Luan told the newspaper.

Luan said he then saw the workers embracing the post, and soon after fall down unconscious. As he approached them, he found their limbs had burned.

The electricity wasn't cut off until Luan and the other injured worker, Nguyen Huu Truong, asked locals to inform the local electricity firm about the accident, he added.

The case is being investigated.

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