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Nam Khan River Remains Unaffected by Sulfuric Acid Spill, Confirms Cambodian Ministry

Phnom Penh, April 10, 2024: A cargo truck accident involving the spillage of sulfuric acid into the Nam Khan River in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has been assessed to not impact the river's water quality or that of the Mekong River, according to a preliminary technical evaluation.

This assessment was announced by the Cambodian Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, which released a public notification earlier this week confirming the findings.

The incident, which occurred on April 3, involved a truck transporting approximately 30 tonnes of sulfuric acid near Luong Prabang province, a location upstream from where the Nam Khan serves as a tributary to the Mekong River. The truck collapse led to concerns about potential environmental and health impacts. However, it was determined that not all of the cargo entered the waterway.

Authorities in Lao PDR, working in collaboration with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) among other partners, acted swiftly to assess the situation. Their initial findings, indicating no significant harm to the water quality, have been shared with the Cambodian Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology. A comprehensive investigation remains underway, with the Ministry maintaining vigilant monitoring of the situation.

The incident has underscored the importance of regional cooperation and swift response mechanisms in safeguarding the Mekong River basin's environmental integrity against accidental contamination.

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