HA NOI (VNS) — Potentially fatal electrical accidents are on the rise around shrimp ponds in the southern province of Bac Lieu, Vietnam News Agency reported.
However, the management of power cables and local awareness of their dangers remains low, the agency quoted local authorities as saying.
Figures from police in Dong Hai District showed that at least four people died from electric shocks in the past two months.
In August, Pham Van Sang, 30, and Nguyen Thanh Toan, 41, in Dong Hai District's Long Dien Dong Commune, were killed near their shrimp ponds. Sang had been using worn electrical electric wires on his farm, while Toan died while he was trying to fix an engine in his shrimp pond.
In July, Le Thi Nhanh and Ngo Thanh Trung, both 32 and also residents of the same commune, were killed following a short circuit.
A father and a son in Dien Hai Commune also died from an electric shock last February while turning on a pump in their shrimp pond.
These are not isolated cases. Vinh Trach Commune's Party Committee Secretary Phan Minh Kha said eight people had died in his commune from electric shocks since 2013.
Huynh Loi Nguyen, head of Long Dien Dong Commune's Police Department, said that a lack of understanding about electricity had led to the deaths of local residents.
Most victims tried to connect electricity from their houses to their shrimp ponds, which could be hundreds of metres away, he said. After a short time, the wiring gets worn and dangerous.
According to Nguyen, the electricity sector must take part of the responsibility for the increase of electrical accidents in the past months. The sector must inspect the use of electricity and fine those who violate safety regulations.
Tran Quyen Du, director of the Bac Lieu Electricity Company, said the company had worked with the media and circulated fliers to inform local people about the safe use of electricity.
Du said residents should use two electrical wires that were both insulated safely.
Tran Danh Tuyen, deputy director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said that as regulated, the Bac Lieu Electricity Company must report accidents to the department every month.
However, none of this year's fatalities were reported.
Tuyen said the province had not invested in power grid for shrimp farms, so the department would revise the use of electricity at shrimp farms to ensure the safety of local residents. — VNS