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Cement factory blast kills one, injures 20 in Laos

08 October 2019

An explosion as a result of rock blasting at a Chinese cement factory in Laos has killed one person and injured around 20 others. Houses and vehicles were also damaged in the explosion which happened on October 5 in Luang Prabang province in northern Laos.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

According to the Radio Free Asia news site, rock blasting is not uncommon in the area, but the local villagers are not warned in advance of blasts. A video of the aftermath posted on the website shows debris scattered across a village and a dust cloud coming from a nearby mountainside.

The blast occurred around 500 yards away from the village and is thought to have been caused by a local Chinese-owned cement factory. The factory has operated near Phonemany village for several years. The company may have used more powerful explosives for its latest rock blasting which caused debris to be scattered further than it has in the past.

According to Radio Free Asia, the rapid proliferation of Chinese-owned industrial, hydropower, mining and tourism projects in Laos has caused friction with locals due to rising pollution levels, the loss of farmland and a lack of economic compensation for displaced villagers.

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