Third suspect in Hanoi’s water supply contamination case turns himself in

By Pham Du   October 20, 2019 | 05:52 pm GMT+7
Third suspect in Hanoi’s water supply contamination case turns himself in
A stream of oil-contaminated water flows from a creek in Ky Son District, Hoa Binh Province. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do.

The third suspect in the case of dumping used oil into a creek and contaminating Hanoi’s water supply turned himself in Sunday.

Ly Dinh Vu, 37, had hidden in several localities, including northern Hung Yen Province and Hai Phong City, upon hearing the news of police investigating the water contamination case. But realizing he could not escape, Vu turned himself in at Thuan Thanh District in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Police in Hoa Binh Province, where the dumping happened, have determined that Vu was the mastermind behind the action.

Nguyen Chuong Dai, 25 and Hoang Van Tham, 33, the other two suspects in the case, were arrested Thursday.

Dai and Tham told the police that on October 6, Vu hired them to drive a truck from Bac Ninh Province to the Thanh Ha brick and ceramic factory in Phu Tho Province in the north to collect and load the factory’s waste on to the truck. On October 8, the three drove the truck and a car to Ky Son District of Hoa Binh Province to dump the oil and left the scene.

Police are continuing investigations into the responsibilities of all possible parties involved in the incident.

On October 8, a 2.5 ton tanker dumped used oil into a creek in Hoa Binh Province that feeds into the Da River, which is sourced by the Vinaconex Water Supply Join Stock Company (Viwasupco) to process and supply clean water to around one million people in the southwestern part of Hanoi, about one eighth of the capital's population.

Two days later, residents in the southeast of Hanoi detected an unpleasant, pungent odor in their tap water. Tests of the smelly water by authorities later found that the level of styrene, an organic compound that is probably carcinogenic, was 1.3-3.6 times higher than normal.

Hanoi authorities then warned residents that they should not use the water for drinking or cooking, only for other purposes like washing clothes and bathing.

On Thursday, Viwasupco restored its water supply after a one-day suspension for cleaning its pipes and reservoirs. Hanoi officials Thursday said the latest tap water samples collected Monday had passed safety tests, but continued to advise residents against drinking or cooking with it.

 
 
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