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Rescuers rush to help workers trapped in tunnel

Update: December, 18/2014 - 15:57
Rescuers are transferring equipments into the tunnel. Twelve workers remain trapped since Tuesday in the Central Highlands' Lam Dong Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dung

LAM DONG (VNS) — Rescuers are working hard to pump out water from the collapsed tunnel section, where 12 workers remain trapped since Tuesday in the Central Highlands' Lam Dong province.

The tunnel is located in the construction site of the Da Dang-Da Chomo hydropower project.

At about 6:00 am today, the rescue team successfully drilled a new hole to pump out water after the water level rose to 1.2m in the collapsed section.

Earlier, they installed an air conduit to allow oxygen to pass inside and to communicate with the victims, including one woman.

Rescuers install a new drilling machine. — Photo

Through the conduit, they delivered water, milk and soup to the workers, who said that they were all in good health, but were feeling very cold due to the rising water level.

In addition to reinforcing the tunnel to avoid more collapses, the rescuers enlarged the air conduit to install a 70cm-diameter steel pipe as a way out for the trapped workers.

The rescue team, comprising 200 sappers, fire fighters, mine and construction experts and health workers, is urgently opening larger holes to provide clothes and food to the victims, said Nguyen Quoc Ky, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Lac Duong district.

Work on the Da Dang-Dachomo plant kicked off in 2003. The VND475-trillion (US$22.6 billion) plant, invested by the Civil Engineering Construction Corp No. 5 (CIENCO 5), is designed to have a production capacity of 22 MW.

The site of the collapsed tunnel is about 500m from the entrance of the 700m-long tunnel that runs though the mountain to bring water to the plant. — VNS

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