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Elderly man dies as two-story house gives way in central Vietnam

Friday, April 21, 2017, 10:36 GMT+7

An elderly man in the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Dinh was killed after his house collapsed on Thursday, an accident allegedly caused by construction next-door.

The two-story house at 296 Tran Hung Dao Street in the provincial capital of Quy Nhon gave way at around 8:45 am, resulting in the death of Phan Van Thu, 84.

Thu’s son, owner of the house Phan Van Hung, was out for breakfast and his two children were at school at the time of the incident.  His wife was on the ground floor and managed to escape before the building crumbled.

Thu was trapped on one of the building’s upper two floors, resulting in serious injuries.  He succumbed to his wounds shortly after being transported to the hospital.

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Local residents witness the incident. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Authorities believe that regulatory violations on a construction project at the next-door residence, 298 Tran Hung Dao, might be to blame for the accident.

Hong Van Cuong, chairman of the People’s Committee in Tran Hung Dao Ward, said that that three other people were also wounded, including two construction workers at the 298 house and a salesman at 300 Tran Hung Dao.

The 298 house belonged to Huynh Le Hue and was planned to be renovated into a four-story building.  Workers on-site were digging its foundation on Thursday morning.

Nguyen Tien Dung, chairman of the municipal administration, ordered a comprehensive investigation into the case in the afternoon the same day.

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Authorities remove debris from the scene of the accident. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The accident also caused a power-outage and damages to several street lights and telecom wires, Dung added.

“Authorities were still dealing with consequences of the incident as of 5:00 pm. Power is expected to return to the neighborhood by Friday evening,” the official continued.

The construction contractor for the 298 house has been identified, he said, though he added that local authorities have been unable to summon the individual.

The casualty and severe damages involved in the case have led the local administration to hand it over to Binh Dinh Department of Police for further probing.

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