A woman was killed on Wednesday after falling into a drain construction site in Vientiane’s Sikhottabong District.
A motorbike was found alongside the body at the scene, leading police to believe she had fallen into the pit while riding her bike, perhaps during the night when visibility was low.
Images of the incident attracted attention on social media, with users blaming the construction company for failing to enforce safety regulations or adequately cordon off the construction site.
“The contracting firm has been careless. The parties involved must also ensure that this does not happen again,” one social media commented.
“Roadblocks are highly vital to avoid this type of accident from occurring. Countless lives have already been lost. This is not the first time this has happened!” another social media user wrote.
Lax safety regulations and unenforced rules are common in Southeast Asia, with contractors and workers regularly taking shortcuts or ignoring safety protocols.
A similar issue came to a head in Vietnam earlier this year when a 10-year-old boy died after becoming trapped in the small open shaft of a concrete pilon at a construction site.
The tragedy, which outraged the Vietnamese public, prompted officials to find a better approach and implement more stringent safety protocols.