Attapeu Officials Clarify Viral Image of Logging Truck Damaging Bridge

A truck laden with timber causing a bridge to collapse in Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province.

The images of an overloaded timber-carrying truck destroying a bridge in Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province, drew the ire of the general public, who suspected illegal logging to have led to the damage.

Mr. Buakhai Xaophouthone, Provincial Head of 18 Route Road Construction from the Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport, said during an interview that logging is legal in the district as per the clearance agreement after the collapse of Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam in 2018.

Following this incident, the Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport and the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry approved the transportation of 79,000 cubic meters of timber on routes 9004 and 18A.

Depending on the type of truck, the two provincial departments regulated the heaviest load to be around 25 to 30 cubic meters per vehicle. The truck seen in the viral images was overloaded and thus damaged the bridge earlier this week.

The construction company whose vehicle was responsible for the bridge’s collapse has been instructed by authorities to repair and rebuild the bridge before the rainy season, with a bypass to facilitate transportation and traffic during the bridge’s reconstruction.