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30 missing following landslide at hydropower plant in central Vietnam

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 13:44 GMT+7

Seventeen workers remain missing after a landslide hit a hydroelectric plant in the central Vietnamese province of Thua Thien-Hue while 13 soldiers and officials are also missing after heading to the site of the accident.

The provincial People’s Committee confirmed on Wednesday morning that a total of 30 people have gone missing following the mudslide that occurred at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in Phong Xuan Commune, Phong Dien District.

On Monday, a local resident contacted an official at the Thua Thien-Hue administration and reported that the accident had occurred a day earlier.

In order to verify the information, provincial authorities established a 21-member delegation including military soldiers, rescuers, and local officials.

Photos taken at the Bo River forest protection station in Thien-Hue Province before and after a landslide occurred on October 12, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor

Photos taken at the Bo River forest protection station in Thien-Hue Province before and after a landslide occurred on October 12, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor

The team began their journey to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant from the Phong Dien Party Committee headquarters at 2:00 pm on Monday.

After reaching a flooded section on Road No. 71 at 4:00 pm, they left their automobiles behind and continued on foot.

At 9:00 pm the same day, the delegation arrived at the Bo River forest protection station to take a rest, before the facility was hit by a landslide at midnight.

Only eight members were able to escape, but they lost contact with the remaining 13.

Military officers head to Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to search for missing workers in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Military officers head to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to search for missing workers in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

On Tuesday, Thua Thien-Hue police confirmed that 17 workers at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant had gone missing following the mudslide on Sunday.

The Ministry of National Defense on the same day mobilized multiple units to search for the 30 missing victims at the two locations.

Specialized vehicles have been used to carry soldiers and rescuers to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant and the Bo River forest protection station via Road No. 71.

Downpours and mudslides along the route have posed a lot of difficulties for search and rescue efforts.

Military officers head to Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to search for missing workers in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Military officers head to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to search for missing workers in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Another team headed to Rao Trang 3 on two speedboats via the Bo River but were only able to reach the Rao Trang 4 hydropower plant due to rain and flooding.

Five injured workers, who had been transported from Rao Trang 3 to Rao Trang 4, were then brought on the speedboats and taken to the hospital in Huong Tra Town.

Food and supplies were also provided for other people who remained stranded at the site.

Wire mesh is transported to Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to assist search and rescue efforts, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Wire mesh is transported to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to assist search and rescue efforts, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Armored vehicles are dispatched to Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to assist search and rescue efforts, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Armored vehicles are dispatched to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant to assist search and rescue efforts, October 14, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

The road leading to Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant is barricaded and can only be entered by authorized rescuers and military soldiers.

The road leading to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant is barricaded and can only be entered by authorized rescuers and military soldiers. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Workers from Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant who were injured after the landslide on October 11 are brought to the hospital in Huong Tra Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province on October 13, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor

Workers from the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant who were injured after the landslide on October 11 are brought to the hospital in Huong Tra Town, Thua Thien-Hue Province on October 13, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor

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