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Vietnam punishes officials over Formosa incident

Vietnam punishes officials over Formosa incident

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 09:44 GMT+7

Vietnam's Party Secretariat said on Friday it was punishing four high-ranking government officials over the so-called Formosa incident, the government said in a statement on its verified Facebook.

The Secretariat has rebuked Nguyen Minh Quang, the former environmental minister, and dismissed his two deputies and the former party chief secretary of Ha Tinh province, Vo Kim Cu. The statement did not say when the punishment would take effect.

The Formosa incident occurred a year ago at a steel mill being developed by Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Corp. An accidental release of chemicals, including cyanide, phenols and iron hydroxide, eventually polluted more than 200 km of the Vietnamese coast.

6pZNT13h.pngA screengrab of the goverment's Facebook

More than 50 violations at Formosa's steel mill, including the unauthorized use of a dirtier production process, led to the disaster

The officials were "irresponsible and loosened their management and supervision on environment safety, leading to serious damage to the environment and local people," the statement said.

Those punished were among 11 government, provincial and industry officials who were named in February, 11 months after the disaster. Formosa agreed last June to pay $500 million in compensation.

The environment ministry has said it will probably take a decade for the affected region to completely recover from the accident.

Formosa plant in Ha Tinh. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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REUTERS/TUOI TRE NEWS

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