Many people have been affected by the collapse of an under-construction hydropower dam in Attapeu province on late July 23 (Photo: KPL)

Hanoi (VNA) – Several hundreds of people have gone missing and several died after an under-construction hydropower dam collapsed in Attapeu province in southeastern Laos on the evening of July 23, according to the Lao news agency KPL.

The agency said the dam at Xe Pien-Xe Namnoy hydroelectric power plant collapsed at 20:00 hours on July 23, releasing 5 billion cu.m of water which submerged six villages of Sanamxay district, making more than 1,300 families homeless.

The plant, which has a capacity of 410 MW, is being constructed by the Xe Pien-Xe Namnoy Power Company (PNPC).

According to KPL, the PNPC is a joint venture between SK Engineering and Construction, Korea Western Power, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding and Lao Holding Sate Enterprise.

The project, which is estimated to cost 1.02 billion USD, is the first Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project to be undertaken by the Korean companies in Laos.

The authorities of Attapeu have called for emergency aid for the victims of the disaster.

The KPL also reported that Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has suspended the planned monthly meeting of the Government and led the Cabinet members and other senior officials to Sanamxay to monitor rescue and relief efforts.-VNA