Vietnam province Party chief's son-in-law to be investigated for bridge collapse

By Thanh Nien News, TN News

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The chief of the management board of a faulty suspension bridge that collapsed in Lai Chau Province last month, leaving 8 people dead and injuring 38 others, is the son-in-law of the provincial Party chief, Tien Phong (Pioneer) newspaper reported Tuesday.

Do Chien Thang, chief of the Project Management Board of the Chu Va 6 Bridge in Tam Duong District, is the son-in-law of Lo Van Giang, chief of the provincial Communist Party chapter, according to the report.
On the morning of February 24, a group of local residents walked across the bridge 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 abruptly collapsed.
They reportedly fell 9 meters into a dry stream full of large, sharp rocks. Three people died on the spot. Five other died after being rushed to a hospital.
Thirty-eight people were injured, 20 of whom seriously.
All the victims of the accident belong to H’mong ethnic community in the mountainous northwestern province of Lai Chau.
The 54-meter-long 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 the Tam Duong District People’s Committee and the contractor was the private-run Ky Hoa Construction Company.
Last week, the Ministry of Transport officially concluded that the collapse occurred because the bridge was built incorrectly and failed to meet standards.
A turnbuckle was improperly 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.
It said the contractor, the consultant, the supervisor, the investor and the project management board must all be blamed for the accident.
Minister Dinh La Thang asked  the Ministry of Public Security and Lai Chau authorities to begin legal inquiries into the case to clarify the responsibilities of those involved in the building of the bridge.
No individuals or agencies have taken responsibility for the accident.
The Tam Duong District’s Project Management Board has not made any public statement on the issue.
The Ministry of Public Security several days ago said it would begin investigations into the case soon following a request by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Tran Duan, the police chief of Lai Chau, told Tien Phong that personal relations would not affect the investigation process.

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