Authorities have reported that cabling used for lighting inside the tunnels of the Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway has been stolen, causing the tunnel to go dark.
Netizens recently took to social media to share their dissatisfaction with the expressway’s failure to switch on the lights along the expressway’s tunnels, making the tunnel dark and hazardous.
However, the official Facebook page of the Vientiane-Vang Vieng Expressway has issued a statement explaining that cables used for lighting, as well as communications cabling and other components in the tunnels of the Vang Vieng Expressway have been stolen.
“Lighting cables, powerline communications, and other components were stolen, and some were damaged, causing the tunnel lights to go out,” the page explained.
Cables made from copper, steel, and other valuable metals fetch high prices at scrapyards, and have been stolen several times in the past.
Despite attempts by expressway workers to replace and repair the damaged cabling as quickly as possible, the process takes time, while a lack of adequate lighting in the tunnel poses a high risk for those traveling through.
Communications lines were also stolen and damaged, rendering closed-circuit television in the area inoperable, preventing workers from monitoring accidents or fires.
The 900m expressway tunnel is located at K63+380 and allows motorists to drive directly through Phoupha Mountain.