Sun, May 20, 2012
China > Mainland

20 dead in expressway tunnel blast in central China

2012-05-19 11:02:59 GMT2012-05-19 19:02:59(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The entrance of the tunnel where a deadly explosion took place is cordoned off, in Yanling, central China's Hunan Province, May 20, 2012. Twenty people were killed in an explosion when a vehicle carrying explosives was unloading inside the under-construction expressway tunnel in Hunan Saturday morning. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

Rescuers take a rest at the site of explosion in Yanling, central China's Hunan Province, May 20, 2012. Twenty people were killed in an explosion when a vehicle carrying explosives was unloading inside an under-construction expressway tunnel in Hunan Saturday morning. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

The entrance of the tunnel where a deadly explosion took place is cordoned off, in Yanling, central China's Hunan Province, May 20, 2012. Twenty people were killed in an explosion when a vehicle carrying explosives was unloading inside the under-construction expressway tunnel in Hunan Saturday morning. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

Rescuers work at the site of explosion in Yanling, central China's Hunan Province, May 20, 2012. Twenty people were killed in an explosion when a vehicle carrying explosives was unloading inside an under-construction expressway tunnel in Hunan Saturday morning. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

YANLING, Hunan - One body of the 20 victims killed in the Central China tunnel explosion Saturday has been retrieved, rescuers told Xinhua in the wee hours of Sunday.

When the blast occurred, a total of 24 people were working at the Bamianshan tunnel, which is being built for the Yanling-Rucheng expressway, in Yanling county of Zhuzhou city, Hunan province.

Four of them were pulled out, including one in critical conditions and another slightly injured, the Hunan provincial transport department said in a statement.

The two injured have been hospitalized.

Rescuers have conducted life detections for six times at the site, with no sign of life detected, Yang Jun with the fire brigade of Yanling county told Xinhua.

The explosion happened at about 8:30 am when a vehicle carrying explosives was unloading in the tunnel that involves a designed length of 2,355 meters. The explosives were contained in 12 cases each with a weight of 24 kilograms, according to the contractor of the tunnel project.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is under way, and rescue and clear-up work is continuing.

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