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No one to blame for huge sinkhole

Update: August, 21/2012 - 10:15

HA NOI — Independent verifiers would examine the 20-metre-wide hole in Ha Noi's Le Van Luong Street as relevant parties refused to admit responsibility, according to the municipal Transport Department.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, the department director, also asked relevant parties yesterday to come up with solutions for the problem by Thursday to ensure normal traffic on the street, which links the city centre to the suburban district of Ha Dong.

The hole, first spotted on Sunday morning, expanded to five metres deep, 20 metres long and 30 metres wide.

The depression was initially alleged to be a result of poor quality construction work on a nearby site.

Accordingly, improper technical construction of the foundation of two roadside buildings was alleged to have caused an underground landslide, which, combined with torrential rain during the last few days, caused underground water pipes to break and leak - resulting in the hole in the road.

The director general of Nam Cuong Group – the road investor – said that the road quality was confirmed in the last three years.

He blamed the problem on torrential rains and improper construction of foundations in roadside buildings.

However, Nguyen Tri Dung, chairman of Song Da Thang Long Joint Stock Company – investor in the nearby construction site - said that they were strictly following a legal construction scheme and the design had been approved.

There was evidence proving that the underground water pipes and sewage had been damaged, so water had overflowed the road surface and building foundations, he said.

The company would assume responsibility for tackling the problem, he said.

However, the cost of hiring independent verifiers and tackling the problem will be paid by the guilty party in accordance with the verifiers' conclusion.

Work on the new Le Van Luong Street worth VND736 billion (US$35 million) was started in April 2009 and completed in 2010 as one of several key construction projects to celebrate the city's 1,000th birthday. — VNS

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