Vietnam suspends contractors in hydropower tunnel collapse

By Gia Binh, Thanh Nien News

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Rescuers search for 12 workers trapped in a tunnel collapse at the Da Dang Hydropower Plant in Lam Dong Province on December 16, 2014. Photo: Gia Binh Rescuers search for 12 workers trapped in a tunnel collapse at the Da Dang Hydropower Plant in Lam Dong Province on December 16, 2014. Photo: Gia Binh

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The Ministry of Construction has announced punitive measures against several contractors responsible for a tunnel collapse at a hydropower project last year that trapped a dozen of workers for four days.
Hanoi-based Nhat Thang VNT6 Company, the construction supervision consultant of the Da Dang Hydropower Plant project, will be suspended indefinitely.
Le Dinh Thang, chief supervision consultant and several engineers supervising the relevant package will be suspended for a year.
Underground Works Construction JSC, which was responsible for digging and reinforcing the tunnel, has been banned from the project. It cannot take up a major construction job at other projects for six months.
Site manager Nguyen Ngoc Ben and his deputy Nguyen Xuan Thanh will be suspended for a year.
Earlier, the project investor, Long Hoi Electricity Construction and Investment JSC and five contractors were fined a total of VND325 million (US$14,600).
The collapse happened on December 16, 2014 at the hydropower plant in Lam Dong Province's Lac Duong District. A section of the plant's tunnel caved in 500 meters from its entrance at about 7 a.m.
Twelve workers, including one woman, were stuck inside the tunnel after the incident. They were brought to safety four days later.
The tunnel was being built to bring water from a dam to the hydropower plant.
The project investor later said the accident was caused by rotten ceiling beams and weeks of incessant rain.

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