BEIJING (AP) – The bodies of 14 workers trapped in a tunnel under construction that flooded last week have been recovered, authorities in southern China said on Thursday.
The brief statement from the Zhuhai city government on social media offered no further information on the cause of the July 15 tragedy or the deaths.
The Shijingshan Tunnel is a section of a highway under construction that passes under a reservoir in the city of Guangdong province, near Hong Kong and Macao.
Divers, remote-controlled submarines and other high-tech equipment participated in the rescue operation, as workers on the surface rushed to pump water out of the tunnel. Work was hampered by carbon monoxide from the machinery used.
Although the cause remains unclear, reports indicated that abnormal noise occurred and pieces of material began to fall from one side of the tunnel. Evacuation was ordered as the water rushed in, but the 14 dead were unable to escape.
Apparently, the work had security problems for a long time. In March, two employees died in another section of the tunnel.
Rescuers erect barriers to pump water out of a flooded tunnel in the city of Zhuhai, in south China’s Guangdong province, on July 16, 2021. (Chinatopix via AP)