ATMs inspected after girl dies of electric shock

Power companies and banks around the country are thoroughly checking automatic teller machines (ATM) for electric shock.

The move came after the tragic death of a girl at an ATM booth in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

The State Bank of Vietnam ordered all banks in the country on April 6 to check the status of all their ATMs and report before April 8.

The bank instructed them to close ATMs with electricity leaks, put up appropriate warnings and direct customers to go to other ATMs in the vicinity.

Power companies in big cities like HCM City and Hanoi began checking even earlier.

The HCM City Power Company did immediately after 10-year-old Chau Linh Uyen of District 1’s Nguyen Thai Binh Elementary School died of electrocution at an Agribank ATM booth near her school on April1.

Tests found 121 out of 1,329 ATMs in the city to be unsafe. Of them, 30, including several located at childrens’ amusement centres in several districts, had 100-120V flowing into their keyboards and other areas.

Experts said all the machines had been imported from developed countries and were designed with three-pin plugs but in Vietnam installers often remove the third pin for use in two-hole sockets. As a result, they were never earthed, they said.