Four dead, one missing in central China tunnel flood

Updated: 2008-04-12 17:00

WUHAN -- Four people were confirmed dead and one was missing in a flooded railway tunnel in central China's Hubei Province on Saturday.

The flooding occurred at around 5:10 p.m. on a rainy Friday afternoon in the Maluqing rail tunnel of the Yiwan Railway in Enshi Tujia, Miao Autonomous Prefecture.

More than 100,000 cubic meters of water poured into the 7,879-meter tunnel when five workers were repairing equipment near its entrance. One died on the spot and the bodies of the other three were discovered on Saturday, rescuers said

On Friday, the rainfall in the area reached more than 60 millimeters, according to local authorities.

The rescue efforts are ongoing and an investigation into the cause of the accident was underway.

The tunnel is considered one of the most dangerous passages along the under-construction Yiwan Railway. It links Yichang City in Hubei Province with Wanzhou, Chongqing Municipality.

The 377-kilometer railway is set to begin operation late next year.

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