Twelve construction workers trapped in a caved-in hydropower tunnel in central Vietnam’s Lam Dong Province for almost four days have been rescued this afternoon.
The workers looked weak but were conscious while they were carried out of the tunnel at about 4.30 p.m. Eleven male workers are being cared for at a field hospital, while the only female worker named Ngoc has been rushed to Lam Dong General Hospital.
The workers were previously taken out of the collapsed section of the tunnel through a small tunnel dug by military sappers from the left side.
According to the rescuers, they had dug only 14 meters out of the planned 30 meters when they could suddenly see the trapped workers through a small hole.
They expanded the hole and crawled through it to reach the workers, who were standing in chest-deep water, and carry them out.
The tunnel at the Da Dang - Da Chomo hydropower plant was under construction when a section of it caved in 500 meters from its entrance at about 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
It was still unclear what caused the tunnel to collapse. Some officials blamed the area’s weak geological formations.
Some others, however, suggested it was triggered by heavy rain, which have complicated rescue efforts.
The hydropower plant, one of dozens planned or under construction in energy-hungry Vietnam, is expected to produce about 110 million kWh annually, with total investment of VND475 billion (US$22.24 million), according to Reuters.