Home>News Center>China

12 rescued from tunnel; nine killed in gas leak
By Zheng Caixiong, Mu Zi (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-28 05:42

Twelve workers, trapped in a collapsed highway tunnel for 34 hours, were rescued yesterday evening.

The 12, suffering slight anoxia from lack of oxygen but otherwise uninjured, walked free from the tunnel in Jiaoling County, northeast Guangdong Province, almost exactly 24 hours after nine workers in Beijing died from the effects of an industrial gas leak.

Speaking earlier in the day, an unnamed local government spokesman from Jiaoling, under the city of Meizhou, was upbeat about rescue efforts at the tunnel.

"We have contacted the workers and all of them are in good condition," he told China Daily.

According to the spokesman, the trapped workers had enough air and drinking water to last them until they were rescued.

"As it is the dry season at the moment, there is no danger of the tunnel flooding," he added.

The accident happened at about 5:30 am on Wednesday when the under-construction Guangfu Tunnel for the Tianjin-Shantou Expressway suddenly collapsed.

A 10-metre-long section of the tunnel collapsed, 463 metres from the entrance and 80 metres from where the victims were working, cutting them off from the outside world.

Following the collapse, Guangdong provincial government urged relevant departments and rescuers to quickly bring the workers to safety and prevent similar collapses from happening in the future.

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

On Wednesday, shortly before the tunnel collapse in Guangzhou, nine persons were killed in Beijing by a gas leak at the steel giant Shougang Group.

Three of the victims were women cleaners employed by Shougang, the six others were men working for another company.

According to the State General Administration of Work Safety, gas leaked from a pump at the Shougang plant at around 15:40 on Wednesday, overcoming the nine who were walking past.

A patrol guard found them unconscious and reported the accident.

The supply of gas to the pump was quickly shut down and the victims sent to hospital.

All nine died at around 19:00 the same evening.

No other casualties were reported.

Sources with Shougang said yesterday that the company was dealing with the accident, discussing compensation with victims' families and investigating the cause of the leak.

Work safety administration Director Li Yizhong and Beijing Vice-Mayor Lu Hao are directing an investigation into the tragedy.

Lu said Shougang must draw lessons from the accident and pay more attention to work safety during preparations for its coming relocation.

The steel giant plans to have moved out of Beijing to neighbouring Hebei Province by 2010.

(China Daily 10/28/2005 page3)

Chicken vaccinated in Xiangtai
Lien Chan visits Wolong giant panda research center
Traffic accident kills 5, injures 31 in Chongqing
  Today's Top News     Top China News

Hunan girl's death 'not linked to bird flu outbreak'



Crackdown on online nude shows nets 216



China eases tax burden on poor



Translate words into action, Vatican urged



China Construction Bank makes flat HK debut



'Red Capitalist' passes away at 89


  Hu: China a 'good neighbour' of ASEAN
  Tyco, employees donate to support the disadvantaged
  Environment agency blacklisted
  Thirteen on trial for human smuggling
  Migratory birds pose most serious flu danger
  Invading alien rampant across 1/3 of mainland
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008