Rescue workers in China continued to pump out water from a flooded tunnel Thursday in search of 14 construction workers believed to be trapped underneath. The tunnel, which is still under construction, was flooded after rain continued to pour throughout the night the day before.
The emergency management department of the city of Zhuhai said they are still investigating the cause of the flood. The agency said it has already setup a command center near the tunnel and workers from several neighboring cities have come to help in the rescue operation led by the chief engineer of the Ministry of Emergency Management, Wu Xin.
Officials said they have not yet been able to establish contact with the 14 workers believed to be trapped inside the tunnel. According to local media reports, more than 1,000 workers and 22 fire trucks are on the scene. Around five pumping vehicles are working nonstop to get water out of the flooded tunnel.
"Rescue work is proceeding in an intense and orderly way," Zhuhai officials said.
Fourteen people were trapped in a tunnel water gushing-out accident Thursday in #Zhuhai city. The construction site of the Shijingshan tunnel, part of the city's Xingye expressway, flooded at around 3:30 am, said the local emergency management bureau. #Guangdong pic.twitter.com/Ll7JDNDCPQ — Journey Album GBA (@AlbumGba) July 15, 2021
Huang Ming, China's Minister of Emergency Management said in a video conference with local authorities that every available personnel should help in the "all-out search" for the trapped construction workers.
In March, two workers had died at another part of the same tunnel construction. The workers were killed after a protective wall above the tunnel collapsed, sending large rocks onto the construction site.
The tunnel is part of the Xingye Highway Express Line that runs through the north and south of the city, which connects it with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
The coastal city of Zhuhai is located near Macao and at the mouth of the Pearl River delta. The city is one of China's early special economic zones. The city has since become a major attraction for domestic tourism as it is home to several golf resorts and theme parks.