Eight people, including two Japanese engineers, were killed when a section of the second Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge under construction collapsed last Friday, July 22. Eleven others were wounded.
The accident happened when a crane airlifting a concrete slab snapped under the pressure of strong winds and collapsed on the bridge, causing the impacted section to fall into the river. Damage is initially estimated to be at least 100 million Bahts (roughly US$2.5 million).
The 2.5-billion Baht bridge, linking the Laotian town of Savannakhet to Thailand's Moukdahan, is financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, with Thailand and Laos sharing half of the construction cost.
There are now concerns that the 1,600-meter long bridge will not be opened next year as previously scheduled. The bridge is being constructed by the Japanese firm Sumitomo.
For more details, listen to our Laos Today report.