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Hundreds missing, homes swept away after dam collapses in Laos

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Hundreds missing, homes swept away after dam collapses in Laos

Image: A map showing the location of Attapeu province in Laos
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BANGKOK — A hydroelectric dam has collapsed in southeastern Laos, leaving several people confirmed dead and hundreds missing, according to state media.

The official KPL news agency reported Tuesday that the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Attapeu province collapsed Monday night, releasing large amounts of water and sweeping away houses, leaving more than more than 6,600 people homeless.

The dam was constructed by a joint venture led by South Korean companies, with Thai and Lao partners. It was scheduled to open this year, but it was unclear if it had begun operating.

Environmental rights groups have raised concerns about Laos' hydropower ambitions for years, including worries over the impact of dams on the Mekong River, its flora and fauna and the rural communities and local economies that depend on it.

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A map showing the location of Attapeu province in Laos.Bing Maps