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New rescue tunnels aim to reach trapped workers

Update: December, 19/2014 - 09:30
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai arrived at the site yesterday, where he urged the rescue team to speed up drilling operations from all sides to get to the workers.— Photo Nguyen Dung
LAM DONG (VNS) — Two new rescue tunnels aim to reach the twelve workers trapped after the tunnel collapsed on Tuesday.

The new tunnels, one on the left side and one on the right side of the tunnel, will bypass the debris that separated trapped workers from the rescuers, said Colonel Pham Van Ty, deputy head of the National Committee for Search and Rescue.

Food and clean water were sent down a hole to the trapped workers. Water continued to be pumped out of the tunnel, bringing the water level at the trapped workers' location to 90cm from yesterday's 140cm.

Rescuers were able to advance about 5.5m in the right tunnel with another 24m to go. It would take another three days for them to reach the workers, according to the rescue team's estimate.

The tunnel will continue to be reinforced. The team also set up solid metal tubes as an emergency escape route for rescuers in case of another collapse, said Ty.

The drill on top of the hill broke down after almost a day of non-stop operation, forcing rescuers to abandon it and start over at another location. This drill was supposed to open a bigger hole to send workers clothes and blankets.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai arrived at the site yesterday, where he urged the rescue team to speed up drilling operations from all sides to get to the workers.

After talking to the trapped workers, he said they were in good health except for being cold. Hai told them to have faith and try to stay calm as no effort would be spared to rescue them. — VNS

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