Seven officers suspended after escape of over 400 patients from rehab

By Phuoc Tuan, Xuan Thang, Lam Le   April 20, 2016 | 06:44 pm PT
A week after 447 patients escaped, seven top officials and officers of the drug rehabilitation center in Vung Tau province, southern Vietnam, have been suspended.

On April 20, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA) suspended Director Tran Thien Chi and Deputy Director Nguyen Van Chau of Labor Education and Vocational Training Center.

DOLISA appointed Pham Minh An, director of a nursing home, as new deputy director of the rehab center. Following the appointment, An suspended five officers of the center.


The patients that stayed behind repairing the damage. Photo by Phuoc Tuan

The mass suspension of the rehab’s staff by DOLISA is part of the process to hold those responsible for the escape of 447 patients accountable.

The incident took place in the evening of April 13, when patients destroyed doors and walls to escape. Nearly 20 security guards used pepper spray to control the situation but it wasn’t enough. Many patients entered local houses to steal clothes; some stole a motorbike.

To date, the authorities have only managed to bring 250 patients back to the center.

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