Locals in Hanoi's Duong Noi ward are rushing to unearth over 50 family tombs which were buried under 600 cubic meters of mud last Saturday.
Many suspect that the mud came from construction sites along Le Van Luong Street. The soil was illegally dumped on the Dong Chua Graveyard, according to Le Khanh Dong, chairman of the Duong Noi People's Committee.
Dong said that local political leaders have asked Duong Noi police to report to Ha Dong District authorities and launch a cooperative investigation into the case.
So far, they have yet to identify the culprit, according to Nguyen Dac Hoi, manager of the graveyard. Hoi said that last year, five tombs here suffered the same desecration.
In the meantime, authorities have hired workers to search for the lost tombs, the chairman said.
So far the effort has proven fruitless.
The tombs remain under some four meters of mud due to continuous rains, Nguyen Xuan Ben, who is in charge of the search told VnExpress.
Because of the advanced age of the fragile tombs, the workers must conduct the effort manually, Ben added.
The incident has left locals outraged.
"I feel so indignant!" Dang Ba Hai told a VNExpress reporter. "I couldn't do anything but ask for help from ward authorities and then keep an eye on the search. All I care is the safety of family tombs."
Hai said five of his family's burial sites were covered in the thick mud.
"They have been cleaning up the mud for three days," Nguyen Thi Lan, 70, cried. "But they have yet to find my son's tomb."
"This is not only against the law," said Trinh Nhu Ha, Vice Chairman of Duong Noi People's Committee. "It's downright immoral."