Death toll in Laos dam collapse reaches 30

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Vientiane, Aug 4 (IANS) The death toll in the flooding caused by a dam collapse in southern Laos has climbed to 30 after the recovery of four more bodies, rescue authorities said on Saturday.

Rescuers retrieved a body from Ban Mai Village and three from South Thahin Village, said Phalom Linthong, deputy director general of the General Political Department. Among the four bodies retrieved, two were of children, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mai and Thahintai were among the six most severely-affected villages in the flooding.

Phalom said that the rescue work still relied on man power and authorities faced the risk of sinking into the deep mud now covering the disaster-hit area.

Ounla Xayasith, deputy governor of Attapeu Province, said a rescue team with advanced equipment will join the Lao military personnel in the rescue operation starting from Sunday.

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At least 101 people still remain missing, according to figures released by authorities.

An under-construction saddle dam of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower project, invested by South Korean, Thai and Lao companies, collapsed on July 23, unleashing a large amount of water and hitting some 13 villages of Sanamxay district.

–IANS

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