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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 17:35 GMT
Bomb threatens 'at risk' Iraq dam
A view of Mosul dam from a helicopter
Mosul dam has been a problem for engineers since it was built in 1984
A truck laden with explosives has blown up near a controversial dam in Iraq, killing one person and damaging the main access bridge, Iraqi police said.

US Army engineers had warned in May that the Mosul dam, Iraq's largest, was at risk of imminent collapse.

They said it could unleash a 20m (65ft) wave of water on the city of Mosul.

An engineer at the dam said that Monday's explosion had destroyed a section of the metal bridge, about 1km from the dam.

Seepage

The dam has been a problem for Iraqi engineers since it was constructed in 1984.

It was built on water-soluble gypsum, which caused seepage within months of its completion and led investigators to describe the site as "fundamentally flawed".

A $27m (13.4m) US-funded reconstruction project to help shore up the dam has made little or no progress.

A US watchdog said reconstruction had been plagued by mismanagement and potential fraud.

In a report published in October, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) said US-funded "short-term solutions" had yet to significantly solve the dam's problems.

Iraq has said it is reducing the risk and insists there is no cause for alarm.




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