The owner of a rock quarry in northern Vietnam was arrested this week after an unauthorized controlled explosion at his quarry failed, killing two workers on June 26.
Police of Phu Tho Province allege Tran Van Voi, director of Tran Phu Company, violated mining regulations and used explosives illegally.
Voi, 55, had asked his workers to carry out a controlled explosion on the day of the accident, even though his license for explosive use expired in September 2013, Lao Dong newspaper quoted Colonel Ha Minh Tan, deputy director of Phu Tho Police Department, as saying.
The blast at the quarry at Giac Commune, Tan Son District, triggered a rock slide that killed two workers, 30-year-old Ha Van Dien and 29-year-old Vi Tien Luong. It took rescuers four days to retrieve their bodies.
According to the police, Voi's workers plan to use 1,926 kilograms of explosive and 2,318 detonators in several controlled explosion that day.
Tran Phu company, which obtained a license for rock mining in the area in 2006, was fined in October 2013 for violating regulations in exploiting natural resources.
The crime of breaching regulations on natural resource exploitation is punishable by jail terms of up to ten years besides a fine of up to VND500 million (US$23,500). Meanwhile, illegal use of explosive can be punished by jail terms of up to 20 years and an additional fine of VND50 million.
In May, 2013, Pham Cong Chin, owner of the Len Co quarry in Nghe An was sentenced to two years in jail after a rock slide at the mine killed 18 people on April 1, 2011.
Chin’s license is still valid but he did not follow the approved mining plan submitted with his license application, causing the fatal rockslide, the court said.