12 feared dead in northwest China tunnel collapse
Twelve workers who were trapped a collapsed railway tunnel in northwest China's Gansu Province Wednesday are feared dead, as rescuers have detected no signs of life at the scene, Xinhua reported.
The tunnel collapsed at about 4 a.m. Wednesday in Shandan County in the city of Zhangye, located along a new rail link currently being constructed between Gansu's provincial capital of Lanzhou and the city of Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Rescuers with the Gansu provincial fire department used special equipment to search for signs of life in the debris Wednesday afternoon, but have not seen any positive signs so far, said Fang Guojian, union chairman of the Second Bureau of China Railway Co. Ltd., the prime contractor of the new railway.
All of the 12 missing workers are employees of Fang's company.
More than 500 rescuers were still working at the site Thursday, trying to prop up the tunnel with lumber, reinforce its walls and clean up debris.
Fang said the rescue work was difficult and risky, as falling rubble and seeping water may indicate another collapse in the near future.