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Vietnam PM orders probe into scaffold collapse that killed 13

Friday, March 27, 2015, 15:21 GMT+7
Vietnam PM orders probe into scaffold collapse that killed 13
This photo shows a woman mourning besides the coffin containing the body of her husband who is among 13 Vietnamese workers killed in a scaffold collapse at a construction site in the north-central province of Ha Tinh on March 25, 2015.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked competent agencies to investigate the cause of the scaffold collapse that killed 13 Vietnamese workers at a construction site in the north-central province of Ha Tinh, Vietnamese media said.

>> Korean manager ordered fleeing Vietnamese workers to return before scaffold collapse: witnesses

The premier on Thursday demanded that the chairperson of the provincial People’s Committee direct bodies involved to look into the cause of the collapse and strictly handle the case in accordance with applicable regulations, Radio the Voice of Vietnam reported the same day. The collapse of the scaffolding occurred at a construction site in the Taiwanese-invested Formosa Industrial Park in the Vung Ang economic zone on Wednesday evening.

Authorities have confirmed that 13 Vietnamese workers were killed and 28 others injured in the accident, whereas some sources had earlier said the death toll amounted to 16. PM Dung yesterday also issued a message to various agencies including the provincial People’s Committee, the National Committee for Search and Rescue, the Ministries of Defense and Public Security, and others, urging them to step up activities to search for victims under the debris and help their families overcome the accident’s consequences. In talking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep said the ministry has submitted to the prime minister a brief report on the initial conclusion on the cause of the collapse. The provincial People’s Committee has set up an inspection team to look into the case, and added that a mission from the ministry will arrive in the province on Friday to work on the accident and measures to ensure industrial safety, Diep said. Something wrong with hydraulic system According to the Ha Tinh Province Department of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, the collapse was likely caused by a fault in the friction band of the hydraulic system that lifted materials at the scaffolding area, Diep said.An Ninh Thu Do (Capital Security) newspaper cited surviving workers as saying that when dozens of them were working on the scaffold, the rail of the hydraulic system that was lifting materials up suddenly fell from a height of 30 meters, taking along with it the entire scaffolding, which was 25 meters tall, 40 meters long, and 35 meters wide. Worker Nguyen Van Hanh, 24, who was injured in the incident and is being treated at the Ky Anh General Hospital in Ha Tinh, told Tuoi Tre that he was working at the site on the evening of March 25 when he felt the scaffold under his feet sink down twice and shake. Someone was shouting to warn that the scaffold could collapse and all workers fled the scene, Hanh said. Ten minutes later, a South Korean manager asked workers to return to work and assured them that it was safe, but several minutes later the entire scaffold, weighing hundreds of metric tons, fell down with a crash, he said.

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