Power firm exe treads water in occupational death probe

By Duc Hung   December 30, 2019 | 01:39 am PT
Power firm exe treads water in occupational death probe
Police at the scene where four people were killed by electric shock in Ha Tinh Province in central Vietnam on October 26, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung.
Ha Tinh police are holding a vice director of Ha Tinh Power Company culpable for four work related fatalities last year.

Phan Dac Hung is being investigated for "violating regulations on safe operation of electricity works." Pending charged, Hung has been issued a travel ban, Ha Tinh police said Monday.

According to the company, Hung has been a deputy director for the past five years and that there is no indication he would be resigning the position.

As Ha Tinh Power Company is placed under management of Northern Power Corporation, a member of the state-run Vietnam Electricity (EVN), it will have to wait for higher guidance to make any decisions regarding Hung.

On October 26 last year, four local men were killed by electric shock while installing a telecommunications cable in a Cam Xuyen District field in the central province of Ha Tinh as requested by a local branch of telco giant Viettel.

Nguyen Trong Ngoan, 57, Pham Van Tinh, 47, his brother Pham Van Lanh, 42, and Nguyen Van Cuong, 24, were Cam Xuyen locals, all of poor backgrounds.

It was concluded the four were killed by electric discharge from the 35 KV-line just above the cable.

Following the fatal accident, Ha Tinh Power Company said Viettel Ha Tinh failed to inform them prior to installment of the cable and therefore, it had no time to ensure proper safety.

But Viettel Ha Tinh refuted the claims, saying it had indeed informed Ha Tinh Power Company about the plan, the dragged-out feud eventually forcing police to launch an enquiry.

With Hung named the major culprit, police said that as vice director of Ha Tinh Power Company, he was ultimately responsible for ensuring occupational safety, a task he did not fulfill, and which led to a fatal accident.

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