Fri, November 21, 2008
China > Mainland > East China subway tunnel collapse

Toll rises to 10 in Hangzhou tunnel collapse

2008-11-21 09:36:30 GMT2008-11-21 17:36:30 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HANGZHOU -- Rescuers found one more body early on Friday near the place where the remains of the ninth worker killed in the subway tunnel collapse was found, bringing the death toll in the accident to 10.

But at the moment, the rescuers have difficulty removing the remains from the sludge as the body is firmly buried by a steel tube, said a spokesman for the Fourth Bureau of the China Civil Engineering Group Co Ltd (CCEG), the project builder.

The latest body was found shortly after rescuers spent nearly 12 hours in getting the body of the ninth worker moved from the mud to the ground around 12:00 am.

More than 400 rescuers are searching for the remaining 11 missing workers, although experts said there was no chance of finding anyone alive.

By Thursday, more than 6,000 cubic meters of silt, more than half the total volume, had been cleared.

Workers also installed drainage equipment in the mire as well as cutting water supplies to surrounding areas to prevent any water from seeping in.

Progress, however, remained slow because of the complicated situation in the cave-in hole, said the spokesman.

The tragedy began when a 75-m section of a subway tunnel under construction in the provincial capital Hangzhou collapsed on Saturday afternoon.

Besides those dead or missing, 24 others were injured. A total of 11 construction workers are still in the hospital.

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

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