Two Chinese workers found dead after being trapped five days in flooded tunnel

The flooded Shijingshan tunnel trapped the workers more than a kilometre from the entrance. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Two of 14 workers who have been trapped in a flooded highway tunnel for five days so far in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai were found dead, the city government said on Monday (July 19).

Early on Thursday, water suddenly leaked into the Shijingshan tunnel, which is being built under a reservoir, trapping the workers more than a kilometre from the entrance.

On Monday afternoon, rescuers found the two dead workers at about 1,060 metres to 1,070 metres from the tunnel's entrance, the Zhuhai government said on its official WeChat account.

As of 9am on Monday, rescuers were 732.9 metres into the tunnel, but still 427.1 metres from where the workers were trapped, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The vast tunnel, while still under water, had seen its overall water level drop by a total of 15.5 metres by then, Xinhua said.

Divers have been conducting searches for a total of 16 hours, it added.

The accident was the second in the tunnel since March, when a collapsed wall killed two workers.

The tunnel is part of a major expressway in Zhuhai in Guangdong province, linking the coastal city to a bridge to neighbouring Macau and Hong Kong.

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