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Quarry explosions damage houses, threaten residents

Update: August, 04/2015 - 09:05
A man repairs a roof after a rock fell on his house a month ago, smashing the roof and damaging some furniture. Expansion of the Tan An Quarry across tens of hectares had affected the lives of residents and posed safety risks. — VNA/VNS Photo Hung Thinh

DAK NONG (VNS) — Tens of houses in the Central Highland province of Dak Nong have been damaged due to blasting at local quarries.

They claimed that Tran Phuc Private Enterprise had expanded its mine beyond the safety zone, putting local residents at risk.

Le Thi Lan, a resident in Dak R'Moan Commune's Tan Phuong Village, said that her family had been living in the village for 21 years, and mining activities had never been a problem in the past.

However over the past few years, the enterprise has expanded the mine to just 130 metres away from her house.

"The noise from the blasting is deafening and dust and rocks fly all over the place. It's really dangerous," she said.

A month ago, a rock fell on her house, smashing the roof and damaging some furniture.

Residents said that on average, blasting took place twice a day, but the enterprise had not offered any form of compensation.

In the document that the enterprise supplied to Vietnam News Agency, its licence had just been extended last August, and permitted blasting across a 7.5 hectare zone.

Le Dinh Thang, chairman of Dak R'Moan Commune's People's Committee, said that Tran Phuc Private Enterprise has been licensed to mine at Tan An Quarry for nearly ten years.

The mine's expansion across tens of hectares had affected the lives of residents and posed safety risks.

Thang said the committee had received a petition from residents. As regulated, the safe distance between a quarry and a residential area must be 200 metres or more.

The committee is working with authorised agencies to examine the impacts of mining on local households and plans to claim compensation from the enterprise.

It will also ask the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Department of Industry and Trade to revise the firm's licence extension, and withdraw it completely if a threat was posed to people's lives. — VNS

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