The Ministry of Transport officially concluded Tuesday that a technical error must to be blame for the collapse of a suspension bridge in the mountain northwestern province of Lai Chau, claiming the lives of eight people and injuring around 40 others.
A turnbuckle was wrongly made, the ministry said, blaming the contractor for failing to follow the design and due technical process.
The ministry said investigations also found other technical faults in the building of the bridge.
On the morning of February 24, a group of local residents walked across the Chu Va 6 Bridge in Tam Duong District to bring the coffin of a local official to a graveyard in Chu Va 8 Village, Son Binh Commune.
The group had walked 15 meters on the bridge when it suddenly collapsed.
They reportedly fell 9 meters into a ravine full of large, sharp rocks. Three people died on the spot. Five other died after being rushed to hospital.
Thirty-eight people were injured, 20 of whom seriously.
The 54-meter-long Chu Va 6 Bridge linking Chu Va 6 and Chu Va 8 Villages opened to traffic in December 2012.
Construction of the bridge was funded by Denmark but the structure was wholly built by Vietnamese. It was supposed to be capable of loading 1.5 tons at maximum.
The investor of the project was Tam Duong District People’s Committee and the contractor was the private-run Ky Hoa Construction Company.
The Ministry of Transport on Tuesday called on Lai Chau authorities and the Ministry of Public Security to began legal inquiries into the case to clarify the responsibilities of those involved in the building of the bridge.
After the accident, authorities gave the families of the dead VND50 million (US$2,370) each and injured VND30 million ($1,422) each.
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