wechat_bg

2021-07-20 11:25:51

The bodies of 14 construction workers have been found in a tunnel in southern China, days after it suddenly flooded and a rescue operation was launched.

Three had been discovered earlier in the week. On Wednesday evening, authorities in Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong province, announced rescue workers had found 10 more victims as they slowly made their way into the tunnel. The last worker was found Thursday, a week after the incident happened.

The tunnel, part of the Xingye Highway that will connect with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, had been under construction since 2017 and was slated to open for traffic in 2022. It passes through a water reservoir, from which water continued to leak into the tunnel, media reported Monday. Rainfall also hampered rescue operations.

In March, a landslide occurred at another tunnel along the highway, killing two workers. The incident was caused by an “unforeseeable geological abnormality of the surrounding rock mass,” the local government said at the time.

Twelve of the workers who went missing on Thursday are reportedly from central China’s Hunan province. A family member of one of the missing workers told a Hunanese media outlet that many of them hail from the same town and had worked together often. The missing are in their forties and fifties, and work away from home to take care of their families, she said.

This article has been updated to include the latest casualty figure.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: An aerial view of the tunnel construction site in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, July 16, 2021. Chen Jimin/CNS/People Visual)