Thermal camera deployed for search as 15 remain missing in dam landslide

By Vo Thanh   October 17, 2020 | 02:24 pm GMT+7

A drone with a thermal imaging camera is being used to search for workers buried in a landslide near the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in central Vietnam.

Landslide

A second team with more than 10 rescuers has been dispatched to the site in Phong Dien District in Thua Thien-Hue Province. It includes volunteers from a tech firm in HCMC who have brought the thermal camera and some Thua Thien Hue police officers. The landslide occurred at midnight on Monday at a construction site near the plant deep inside a forest. Seventeen workers were buried, and only two bodies have been found so far with the fate of the remaining 15 still unknown.

Landslide

With the landslide blocking the approach road, the team had to use an alternative route. They departed from the Huong Dien reservoir in Huong Tra Town and sailed up the Bo River for around an hour to reach Rao Trang 4, which is not far from Rao Trang 3.

Landslide

After getting off the boat, they had to trek two kilometers through a forest to reach the scene of the landslide. In this photo, a man carries the thermal camera.

Landslide

On difficult stretches, it required four people to carry the camera case.

Landslide

The thermal camera attached to a drone for scanning the area.

Landslide

The drone has a range of 15 kilometers.

Landslide

An aerial photo of the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant after it was hit by the landslide. The plant lies inside the Phong Dien Nature Reserve. Thua Thien-Hue Province had approved four hydropower plants, including Rao Trang 3 and 4, within the nature reserve. Around 200 hectares of forests have been cleared so far.

Landslide

Using the drone pictures, the team will build a 3D image of the area to serve the rescue mission.

Landslide

Situated amid a mountain range in Phong Xuan Commune, Rao Trang 3 is still under construction. It is expected to cover over 11 hectares (27.2 acres), including an 8.8-hectare reservoir. The tragedy of the 17 workers being buried has been compounded by a 21-member rescue team getting hit by another landslide. At midnight Tuesday the landslide buried a ranger station housing the rescue team. Only eight members managed to escape, while the remaining 13 were confirmed dead by Thursday night, including Major General Nguyen Van Man, deputy commander of the 4th Military Region of the Vietnam People's Army, which oversees six central localities, including Thua Thien-Hue.

 
 
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