A survey found that the collapse of a dam in Attapeu, southeastern Laos, in July last year was not a natural disaster but a man-made disaster.
According to Laos' state-run news agency KPL on May 28, the Lao government concluded that some of the auxiliary dams on the Sepian-Senamnoi Dam, a hydroelectric dam, collapsed because of water leaks in the soil that make up the foundation of the dam.
The Lao government officially defined the dam's collapse as an accident caused by SK Engineering & Construction (SK E&C)'s construction failure.
After the accident, the Lao government formed a National Investigation Committee and commissioned the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to investigate the cause of the accident.
According to the Lao government, the root cause of the accident, which was investigated by the IEP, was a "leak" that appeared in some of the auxiliary dams. It pointed out that soil layers that were easy to erode existed on the foundation ground of the auxiliary dam, and a small stream formed on the soil level, causing erosion.
Meanwhile, SK E&C immediately refuted the claim, saying, "There are many areas where it is difficult to agree due to lack of scientific and engineering grounds in local media articles."
It also claimed that the IEP itself conducted soil analysis through its designated location, methodology and a third-party analysis institution, so that it is objective and unfair.
SK E&C has maintained that the upper part of the auxiliary dam was inevitably lost as the river flooded because of the unusually heavy rain.