CHINA> Regional
Toll rises to 9 in subway tunnel collapse
Updated: 2008-11-20 19:25

HANGZHOU - Nine people have been confirmed dead in a collapsed subway tunnel here in China's eastern Zhejiang Province after another body was recovered on Thursday afternoon.

More than 400 rescuers were searching for another 12 missing, though experts said there was no chance of finding anyone alive.

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The progress of clearing the silt in the collapsed tunnel 16 meters below the surface has continued slowly, as the mud froze.

By Thursday, more than 6,000 cubic meters of silt have been cleared.

The struggle to recover the remains followed the collapse of a 75-m section of a subway tunnel under construction in the provincial capital Hangzhou on Saturday afternoon.

Besides those dead or missing, 24 others were injured. To date, 11 injured construction workers remain in hospital

More than 220 families of the victims have arrived in Hangzhou to deal with the aftermath.

The Fourth Bureau of the China Civil Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (CCEG), the subway project contractor, has been working with the social security and civil affairs department of Hangzhou to discuss compensation with them.

The State Council Work Safety Committee said in a report issued on Wednesday that poor government surveillance and poor construction safety management were to blame for the accident.

In response, the Zhejiang provincial work safety committee launched on Thursday a safety examination on major construction projects across the province.