Saigon’s century-old water tower a potential death trap

Thanh Nien News

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The water tower is situated on To Ky Street in District 12. It was used to supply water during the French colonial period but has been out of use for more than two decades. Photos credit: VnExpress 
Standing in a crowded area, the tower is 20 meters high, almost as high as a six-story building. It has eight concrete pillars holding a concrete water storage tank. 
Parts of a pillar have been broken. 
Pham Thi Em, 80, who lives under the tower, said that a brick-sized piece of concrete fell down last month. No one was injured. “We are very scared that the tower might collapse whenever there are strong winds,” said Em.
Hanh, 40, and his family also live under the structure. Hanh said his father had been tasked to look after the tower. “It has deteriorated. We are worried but don’t know where we should go,” he said. 
“Ten years ago, an agency came and removed all the pipes,” said Hanh. 
“The tower weighs around ten metric tons. I don’t know what will happen if it collapses,” a local said. 
The top of the tower. Mai Van Tho, chairman of Trung My Tay Ward where the tower is located, said his agency reported its deterioration to the local military unit given that the tower is situated in an area managed by the military. 
Le Truong Hai Hieu, chairman of District 12, agreed with Tho. Hieu said the district government cannot remove the tower itself. 
Ho Chi Minh City is currently home to more than 100 water towers built before the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Many of them have gone out of use for decades. 
The original story can be found here on VnExpress.

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