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Mining explosions endanger lives in and around mines

Update: February, 06/2015 - 08:53
A vehicle designed for mining explosions in Hon Cha Mountain in central Binh Dinh Province's Quy Nhon City. Unscheduled explosions at mines and construction projects have seriously affected residents nearby. — VNA/VNS Photo Viet Y

DONG NAI (VNS) — The use of explosives at mines and construction projects has created major problems for people living nearby.

Those living near Tan Cang Quarry in Dong Nai Province's Bien Hoa City report that unscheduled explosions have created safety, health and environmental issues.

Tam Phuoc Commune resident Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai said the explosions shook houses and created dangerous "rock rain".

Another local resident, Pham Van Bong, said that the explosions shot a 2.5kg rock into his chest, smashed his lungs and broke his ribs. While the company paid him VND30 million (US$1,430) in compensation, it was not sufficient to compensate for his lost wages, as he was now unable to work.

Most of his neighbours had sold their land to rock mining enterprises and moved to other areas, he said. The remaining 10 households, including his, had to stay because the mining enterprises had no intention to buy their land.

Environmental pollution is also another problem as rock-carrying trucks create accidents, damage the road and pollute the air with dust and smoke.

Nguyen Van Nam, a local resident, said that people had set up stations twice to stop the trucks so that they were unable to damage the road and create accidents.

He said that mining enterprises promised the province and the district authorities that they would pay for road maintenance, but it had been carried out carelessly.

Deputy Director of Dong Nai Natural Resources and Environment Department Nguyen Ngoc Thuong said that his department had encountered difficulty in fining rock-carrying trucks, as they belonged to individuals, not mining enterprises.

He said that all rock-mining enterprises in Dong Nai province had committed to follow loading restrictions, adding that his department would suspend or close any mine that violated the commitment three times.

The province police and transport department would set up stations to fine overloaded trucks, fine enterprises that loaded trucks over capacity and forbid trucks from running from 10pm-5am. Provincial authorities would also build a road specifically for trucks to carry rock into and out of Tan Cang Quarry.

Using explosives in rock mining created problems for local residents of Dai Lanh Commune in Khanh Hoa Province's Van Ninh District.

Local residents reported that 148 out of the 180 households in Dai Lanh Commune had to move to a resettlement area in December 2013, as they were required to leave their land for the province to build the Deo Ca Tunnel at the end of 2014.

However, only 17 households had moved into the area because it had not been equipped with infrastructure such as power and water and was located very close to the area being cleared by using explosives.

Pham Van Sam and Nguyen Tan Hoang, who live in the resettlement area, said that the explosions had damaged their houses heavily, leaving holes on the roofs and cracks on the wall.

The project management unit used the explosives without any notice or schedule, they said.

Tran Dai Xuan, deputy director of the project management unit, said that his unit had to move local households to the resettlement area because they did not want the project to lag behind schedule.

He said that the project management unit would complete building all infrastructure for the resettlement area by the end of April, adding that his unit was using explosives to clear the ground for the construction of a kindergarten.

The explosions would stop by February 15, right before the Tet holiday, he said. — VNS

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