Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr Khammany Inthirath, told the media that the collapse of the Saddle Dam at the Xe-Pian Xe-Nam Noy Dam on July 23 was likely due to substandard construction.
The dam failure incident caused catastrophic damage to Sanamxay District in Attapeu Province, with hundreds of people missing and thousands displaced. Foreign and local rescue teams are at the scene locating survivors and disbursing supplies.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Minister Khammany said that the government is still investigating the cause of the incident, but that substandard construction coupled with unexpected rainfall was to blame.
“There may have been a crack in the saddle dam which allowed water to pass through, widening to a hole large enough to cause the collapse,” he said.
Dr Khammany went on to say that the government has launched a full-scale investigation, headed by a newly appointed committee, and that all affected residents will be fully compensated.
The committee will work with the project developers and local authorities to assess the disaster and fully understand the cause.
The dam collapse has so far displaced 3,060 people, while 131 remain unaccounted for. Only four deaths have been recorded so far.