Hundreds Missing, Several Feared Dead, after Laos Dam Collapse

(From Reuters)

Hundreds of people are missing and several are feared dead after a hydropower dam under construction in southern Laos collapsed, causing flash flooding which swept away homes, state media reported on Tuesday.

The disaster left more than 6,600 people homeless, the Lao News Agency reported. It showed pictures of villagers wading through muddy flood waters carrying belongings. Others boarded rickety wooden boats or stood on the roofs of submerged houses.

Officials have brought boats to help evacuate people in San Sai district of Attapeu province, where the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam is located, as water levels rise after the collapse, ABC Laos news reported.

The company building the dam said heavy rain and flooding caused the collapse and it was cooperating with the Laos government to help rescue villagers near the dam.

“We are running an emergency team and planning to help evacuate and rescue residents in villages near the dam,” a SK Engineering & Construction spokesman told Reuters by telephone.

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