A power cut at the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant in April led to toxic waste water flooding into the sea off the central coast, according to a government investigation seen by the Reuters news agency.
Full details of the official report, completed in July, have not been made public, fuelling allegations of a cover-up.
Thousands of local people in the worst affected provinces have defied warnings and intimidation by the authorities to demand compensation, and full government accountability, for one of the worst environmental disasters in Vietnam’s history.
Protests are continuing more than six months after the leak from the steel plant.
Reuters reported that the investigation had uncovered fifty violations at the Taiwanese run steel mill in the run-up to the leak of contaminated water.
It said that Formosa had not kept to plans agreed in the original environmental assessments made for the project.
The report, signed off by the government and a panel of international experts, said that Formosa was using a “wet” cooling system that was more prone to toxic leaks than the more modern “dry” system.
The news agency reported that a power cut had disabled the waste processing equipment, leading to a discharge of toxic waste, including cyanide products, into the sea.
The leak led to the death of millions of fish, devastating the fishing and tourism industries in four central provinces.
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