Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM – The investor of a hydropower plant in central Quảng Nam Province has refuted the local authority’s claims of wrongdoing following an accident last week that left two workers missing.
A water valve at the Sông Bung 2 Hydropower Plant broke on September 13, with water from the plant’s conductor tunnel sweeping away two on-duty workers, destroying two houses in La Êê Commune’s downstream area and flooding some roads in nearby communes.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Nguyễn Quang Thử, director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said the plant investor did not follow proper procedures for water storage.
Thử said although the provincial People’s Committee had issued a document allowing, in principle, the plant to store water, the committee had asked the plant investor to undertake some measures beforehand.
“After finishing these steps, the investor needs to inform the provincial People’s Committee and related parties. Only after being granted official approval can they store water,” Thử said.
“Before the accident occurred, the Department of Industry and Trade had not known that the plant was storing water. There are problems in this process.”
Ngô Việt Hải, general director of Power Generation Corporation 2, which has invested in the plant, however, refuted Thử’s claim.
“Before storing water, we followed all the necessary procedures and were granted permission by the local authorities,” Hải said, adding that they had fulfilled all the requirements of the provincial authorities as stated in the document that Thử mentioned.
According to Hải, after meeting all the demands, the investor sent a notice on the water storage activity to the Provincial People’s Committee, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the people’s committees in related districts and communes on August 24, one day after the document of the People’s Committee was issued.
“The storage of water is under the supervision of the Department of Natural Resources, so we informed them directly, not the Department of Industry and Trade,” Hải said.
Regarding the two missing workers, Hải said the body of Nguyễn Minh Luân from Hải Phòng City had still not been found. Earlier, the search and rescue team had found the body of Đặng Văn Tuyền from Hải Dương Province in a lake close to the Sông Bung 4 Hydropower Plant.
Currently, the lake was full of wood and firewood, making it difficult to search for the other victim. He said the company would reward VNĐ20 million (US$896) to anyone who found Luân’s body. – VNS