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Lao state inspection chief appointed to head dam collapse probe
Last Updated: 2018-08-09 14:32 | Xinhua
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The Lao government appointed Bounthong Chitmany, president of State Inspection Authority, to head an investigation into the collapse of a dam in the south, Lao News Agency (KPL) reported on Wednesday.

"The investigation committee led by Bounthong Chitmany can accept financial and technical assistance as well as internationally recognized experts from international bodies to facilitate its investigation and technical verification to find out the cause of the dam collapse," said Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at a meeting on Tuesday.

"It can also invite representatives of the governments of the contractors and shareholders of the dam project to give advice or observe the undertakings of the investigation to ensure it is effective, transparent, and acceptable to domestic and foreign communities."

Tuesday's meeting also appointed a high-level committee to inspect the responsibility of government officials involved in approving the construction and announcing prior warnings with respect to the dam tragedy.

The committee will also be supervised by Bounthong Chitmany who is also a deputy prime minister of the Lao government.

On July 23, a saddle dam of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric power project, invested by South Korean, Thai and Lao companies, burst, unleashing flood water from the mountain to 13 villages of Sanamxay district downstream the Xe Pian River, some 560 km southeast of Vientiane.

Six villages were almost submerged by the muddy flood with 13,000 villagers being affected. Till Wednesday, 35 people have been confirmed dead, 96 remained missing in the accident.

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