Report: Cover-up in cave-in accident

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-30 06:43

A construction company had tried to cover up a cave-in accident at a subway construction site in which six workers were trapped underground, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

The accident occurred on the No 10 Line of the Beijing subway in the northwestern part of the city at 9:20 am on Wednesday.

The hopes of survival for the six workers are slim, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Instead of reporting the accident right away to work safety authorities, China Railway 12th Bureau Group Co Ltd, a Stated-owned company, organized its own rescue team.

And to keep a tight lid on the news, the management asked all rescue workers to turn in their cellphones and locked the gate of the site, the newspaper said.

Beijing police learnt of the accident from their counterparts in Henan, after a worker native to that province secretly called the police in his hometown using a mobile phone he managed to hide.

Of the six trapped, one is from Henan and the other five from Southwest China's Sichuan Province. They are aged 20 to 37.

Work to clear away the cave-in area - where sand and soil crushed the supporting steel frames - was completed yesterday, and buildings and underground pipelines of civilian use close to the accident site are not affected.

The collapsed section covers 20 square meters and is about 11 meters deep.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the collapse.

Xinhua contributed to the story

(China Daily 03/30/2007 page1)

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