HA NOI (VNS)— Those responsible for a bridge collapse in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau last month that killed eight people and injured nearly 40 others will be prosecuted, said Transport Minister Dinh La Thang.
At a meeting with the independent team investigating the case on Thursday, he emphasised the seriousness of the accident.
The investigation team, which includes top construction experts, reported that the cause was likely the sub-standard screws anchoring bridge cables to the abutments at each end of the bridge.
Thang asked the team to continue investigating the responsibilities of project designers, supervisors and investors. The official conclusion about the cause of the collapse should be made public in the next ten days, he said.
The bridge collapse caused public concern about the quality of traffic construction projects nationwide. According to the transport ministry, more than 100 bridges along the national highway system need immediate repairs and 300 urgently need to be upgraded. There is no official figure about the condition of bridges in rural areas.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said the ministry would tighten control over construction projects by stepping up supervision and clearly defining the responsibilities of stakeholders. Those responsible for projects found violating construction regulations would be strictly punished.
The construction ministry urged relevant ministries, agencies and localities to inspect all suspension bridges currently under construction in rural areas. For bridges already operating, localities were instructed to check their design files and ensure maintenance was up to date. — VNS