HA NOI (VNS)— Transport Minister Dinh La Thang will establish an independent group to investigate Monday's tragic bridge collapse, which killed eight people and injured nearly 40 others in Lai Chau Province.
He made the decision after visiting the accident site in the mountainous northern province on Tuesday.
The accident occurred while local residents were attending a funeral. When the funeral procession attempted to cross the suspension bridge, which connects Chu Va 8 Village to Chu Va 6 Village, the bridge collapsed. The coffin and many of the mourners fell into the stream below.
A preliminary evaluation blamed the tragedy on the overloading of the bridge. The 54-metre-long project, which had been in use for 14 months, had the capacity to support 1.5-tonne vehicles. A group of more than 40 people were carrying the coffin across the bridge when disaster struck.
However, many experts have pointed out that the quality of the bridge's anchor screws could have contributed to the bridge's collapse.
Head of the Ministry's Construction Management Department Tran Xuan Sanh told VnExpress online newspaper that the bridge's cables had a capacity of up to 70 tonnes but the anchor's structure did not fit the cables.
The safety of the anchor structure was not guaranteed, and they may be the cause of the broken anchor screws, he said.
Deputy Head of the Ministry's Department of Transport Infrastructure Tran Quoc Toan also told the newspaper that the anchor screws were not protected or properly maintained, thus affecting their quality.
The final conclusion on the cause of the bridge collapse is expected to be released by the investigation team next week. — VNS