Lao PM calls on experts to reveal the truth behind dam collapse

Breaking News August 25, 2018 10:12

By Vientiane Times
Asia News Network

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Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has urged international experts to work closely with Lao officials to determine the real reason for the collapse of the dam in Attapeu province on July 23. 

Thongloun made the request when he received a courtesy visit from members of the International Commission On Large Dams (ICOLD) and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

The group was led by a senior expert with ICOLD, Prof. Dr Anton J. Schleiss, who is partnering with other professionals, including Lao officials, to investigate the cause of the dam collapse, according to a statement on the government's website on August 22.

Prof. Dr Schleiss sincerely thanked the prime minister for giving up his valuable time to welcome him and his delegation.

He also expressed his sadness over the tragic consequences of the dam burst in Sanamxay district.

Prof. Dr Schleiss informed the prime minister that international experts were cooperating in the investigation into the accident, saying "The investigation is on track through cooperation from various sectors."

"We will discuss the matter with two other experts who have not joined us on this occasion after we have collected all the information, carried out a survey and evaluated the design of the dam," he added.

Although the exact circumstances of the dam's collapse are still unclear, Prof. Dr Schleiss said his team would resume their investigation in October to try to discover the true reason for the accident.

He said that an accident of this nature could occur in any country and at any time and had happened in well-developed countries that employed the most advanced forms of technology. 

"But when it happens we need to investigate the real cause so that we can learn lessons and put measures in place to ensure such an event does not happen again," he said.

Prime Minister Thongloun thanked Prof. Dr Schleiss and his delegation for taking time to investigate the accident.

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