Two more bodies retrieved from Vietnam hydropower plant landslide

By Vo Thanh   October 23, 2020 | 12:57 am PT
Two more bodies retrieved from Vietnam hydropower plant landslide
The scene at Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant in Thua Thien-Hue Province where a group of 17 workers were hit by landslide, October 23, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.
Rescue teams retrieved the bodies of two workers buried by a landslide near Thua Thien-Hue Province's Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant Friday morning, 11 days after the incident.

Nguyen Dinh Bach, deputy head of Thua Thien-Hue People's Committee, said the bodies would be transferred by boat to the main roads and then to Hue Central Hospital for family identification.

These were the third and fourth bodies recovered from the landslide that occurred on October 12 at a construction site near the hydropower plant, located deep in the jungle, around 30 km (18.6 miles) from Phong Xuan Commune People's Committee in Phong Dien District. A total 17 workers were reportedly asleep when they were buried in the incident.

The first two bodies, one hailing from neighboring Quang Tri and the other from the Central Highlands' Dak Nong Province, were found and identified last week. That left 13 still missing.

In recent days, authorities have deployed more rescue forces to the scene to search for the missing workers. It was expected that sappers would destroy a large rock about 30 cubic meters on Friday to help rescue forces gain access to the scene. Sniffer dogs will be dispatched to assist the search.

Since October 6, Thua Thien-Hue and other parts of the central region have been drenched by torrential rains, triggering floods and landslides that resulted in at least 117 deaths.

The day the hydropower plant was hit by landslide, a 21-member rescue team was dispatched to the scene. They stopped at a ranger station to rest for the night and a rocky landslide hit their station at midnight. Only eight people managed to escape while the other 13, including Major General Nguyen Van Man, deputy commander of the 4th Military Region of Vietnam People's Army that oversees the north-central region, were confirmed dead more than two days later.

A few days after the two deadly landslides in Thua Thien-Hue, a landslide in neighboring Quang Tri Province early on Sunday killed 22 soliders in what might be Vietnam's biggest military loss in peace time.

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