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Formosa leaders apologise for statement on fish deaths

Update: April, 27/2016 - 11:29
Leaders of the Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corporation (FHS) officially apologised for a shocking statement made by a company’s representative on Monday regarding recent mass fish deaths in the central region.— Photo

HÀ TĨNH — Leaders of the Formosa Hà TĨnh Steel Corporation (FHS) officially apologised for a shocking statement made by a company’s representative on Monday regarding recent mass fish deaths in the central region.

FHS Senior Vice President Zhang Funing offered the apology to the Vietnamese government, local administration and the people of Hà Tĩnh Province for the comment by the company’s Hà Nội office chief representative Chou Chun Fan on Monday during a press conference on Monday. 

“It is only possible to choose one: either fishing or the development of modern steel industry,” Fan had said.

Funing said the company would seriously learn from that experience and initiate proper measures to deal with Fan.

According to the deputy managing director, Fan was only a representative of FHS office in Hà Nội, not the company spokesperson.

At the press conference in Hà Tĩnh, Formosa leaders affirmed that Fan’s statements did not represent the company’s viewpoint. It had aroused public disapproval and seriously affected the company’s image. Fan also expressed his sincere apologies to the Vietnamese people, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Responding to reporters’ questions about the import of chemicals and cleansing of the waste water discharging system, Funing said papers related to all imported chemicals had always been provided to relevant authorities and the chemicals were permitted to be imported [into the country]. He said the company did not use chemicals to clean the system.

Sewage discharge has been suspected being the culprit responsible for the deaths in provinces from Hà Tĩnh to Thừa Thiên - Huế since early this month. Under the situation, the ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, and Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Public Security have recently checked Formosa’s sewage discharge. Relevant authorities are also testing water samples to determine the major cause of the deaths.

According to Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, results of a study, analysis and assessment by Monday by scientists assigned to look for reasons for the mass deaths of the fish in the central region have excluded causes such as oil spills and earthquakes.

Scientists are testing noxious seaweed, analysing toxic substances contained in the water, sediments as well as fish samples collected from 200 water samples and 200 dead fish samples collected along coastal areas in Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên – Huế, the Tuổi trẻ (Youth) reported yesterday.

The newspaper also reported that Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà will chair a meeting with related ministries and sectors to receive a full report of the incident today.

The meeting is expected to hear the relevant bodies and reports on analyses of samples, contribute opinions and determine exact causes of the situation.

A press conference is expected to be held later in the day to make public the causes for the deaths of the fish. — VNS

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