'Hundreds missing' after Laos dam collapse; agency says

Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number dead after the dam collapsed in south-east Laos. [BBC]
Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number dead after a dam collapsed in south-east Laos, state media reported.

The collapse at the hydroelectric dam in Attapeu province late on Monday sent flash floods through six villages, Laos News Agency said.

"Several human lives" were lost and "several hundreds of people [are] missing", it added.

More than 6,600 people have been made homeless by the floods, reports said.

According to a report by the state media, several houses in the southern part of the district were also swept away and officials in the province put out a call for relief aid for flood victims.

The $1.2 billion dam is part of a project by Vientiane-based Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company, or PNPC, a joint venture formed in 2012.

Among the companies involved in the project according to the Laos News Agency are Thailand's Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding, South Korea's Korea Western Power and the state-run Lao Holding State Enterprise.

The 410 megawatt capacity dam was supposed to start commercial operations by 2019, according to the venture's website.

The project planned to export 90 percent of its electricity to energy hungry Thailand and the remaining amount was to be offered up on the local grid.

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dam collapseAttapeuLaos News Agency