Oil leak from mineral firm named source of flammable groundwater in central Vietnam

By Duc Hung   April 28, 2018 | 03:14 pm GMT+7
Oil leak from mineral firm named source of flammable groundwater in central Vietnam
A piece of cloth burns with diesel-polluted well water in Ha Tinh. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung

A inch-long crack was found on an oil tank containing 25,300 liters of oil.

A leak from a gypsum company’s oil tank in Ha Tinh Province was confirmed as the source of diesel found in several water wells earlier this month, a source from the company said on Friday.

Ha Tinh Minerals and Trading JSC said a crack of 2.5 centimeters (one inch) long was found in an oil tank containing 25,300 liters of oil, which belonged to its member gypsum company.

The crack was the reason the oil had leaked into the well water of several local families, it said, calling the incident "unintended."

The company has offered to help fix the problem and pay for the cost.

Earlier this month, many families in Ha Tinh reported the smell of petroleum coming from their wells’ water. A woman said when she tried to light the water, the liquid burst into flames. Six other households in the neighborhood reported the same problem.

Cases of mining activities polluting the environment in Vietnam are nothing new. Last month, a tailings pond at a gold mine in central Vietnam breached its banks, releasing pollutants into a nearby river that contaminated the water and killed dozens of fish, sparking protests from locals. The firm has since sealed the breach with sand bags.

 
 
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