All 14 workers lost in tunnel flood in China confirmed dead

Updated: July 22nd, 2021 02:40 PM IST

All 14 workers lost in tunnel flood in China confirmed dead

All 14 workers lost in tunnel flood in China confirmed dead Photo

BEIJING — The bodies of all 14 workers trapped when a tunnel under construction was flooded last week have been recovered, authorities in southern China said Thursday.

The Shijingshan tunnel is a section of an expressway under construction that passes beneath a reservoir in the Guangdong province city that lies close to Hong Kong and Macao.

The rescue effort involved divers, remote-controlled submarines and other high-tech equipment, while workers on the surface rushed to pump out water from the tunnel. Work was hampered at times by carbon monoxide fumes from machinery being used in the tunnel as part of the operation.

While the cause remains unclear, reports said an abnormal noise was heard and bits of material started falling off one side of the two-tube tunnel. An evacuation was ordered as water rushed in, but the 14 who died were unable to escape in time.

Zhuhai is a relatively wealthy coastal city at the mouth of the Pearl River delta, which is now being heavily developed for manufacturing and high-tech industries.

Demands for breakneck economic growth, weak adherence to safety standards, poor maintenance and corruption among enforcement bodies are blamed for frequent industrial accidents in China.

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