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Thanh Hoa to shut down lime kilns

Update: January, 04/2016 - 15:04
A serious accident occurred at a lime kiln in Hoang Giang Commune in the central Thanh Hoa Province's Nong Cong District last week. Following the accident, the province has decided to shut down about 200 manual lime kilns by 2020. — Photo vietnamplus.vn

THANH HOA (VNS) — About 200 manual lime kilns in the central Thanh Hoa Province will be shut down by 2020.

Among the 200 kilns, 40 operated regularly while 160 worked seasonally, local authorities said, after eight residents died and one person was affected by carbon monoxide poisoning in an accident at a kiln on Friday.

Ngo Van Tuan, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said the workers of the lime kilns would be assisted in shifting their workplaces and in the search for new jobs.

The provincial construction department has been asked to collaborate with districts to plan on building modernised lime kilns to ensure labour safety, mitigate environment pollution and increase productivity.

Currently, the lime kilns in the locality are mainly used to improve the soil quality and the fertility of fields. Not many of them are used for construction purposes.

The decisions follow a serious accident that occurred at a lime kiln owned by the family of Le Van Thong, 56, in Nong Cong District's Hoang Giang Commune on Friday.

A kiln worker named Pham Van Tuyen, 53, suddenly fainted while he was inserting materials into the kiln. Thong ran into the kiln to save Tuyen, but didn't come out.

Thong's neighbours later had to smash a side of the kiln to bring them two persons out, besides seven others who had tried to rescue those inside the kiln.

Tests by the provincial preventive health centre showed the emissions in the area near the lime kiln were eight times the legal limit. Residents continue to be restricted from entering the kiln to ensure their safety.

The people's committee of Nong Cong District immediately banned operations of seven lime kilns in Hoang Giang Commune's Yen Thai Hamlet.

Le Sy Hieu, deputy head of Hoang Giang Commune Police, said the seven kilns employed about 30 to 50 local workers for more than VND700,000 (US$31) per worker per day.

This morning, Thong's wife Le Thi Nguyen, the only one who survived the accident, showed signs of recovery after being treated at Thanh Hoa General Hospital, the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.

Colonel Le Trung Hieu of Thanh Hoa Police said they would not prosecute anyone in the case as Le Van Thong, the lime kiln's owner, and his two daughters had died. — VNS

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