Weak geological formations may have caused the partial collapse of a tunnel at a hydropower project in Vietnam’s Central Highland this morning, local authorities said as rescuers were trying to save 12 people trapped inside.
Huynh Ngoc Canh, head of the Lam Dong Province’s department of Industry and Trade, and Nguyen Duy Hai, chairman of the Lac Duong district, told Thanh Nien News that weak geological formations possibly caused the collapse.
Thirty-two workers were working in the tunnel when it collapsed at around 7 a.m.. Twenty of them managed to escape but the other 12 are trapped, Pham Dinh Hieu, the manager at the construction site, said.
Doan Van Viet, Chairman of Lam Dong People's Committee, said rescue work has been slow due to "lack of experience."
A more powerful drilling machine was mobilized to the scene as of 3 p.m. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre
Tuoi Tre Newspaper quoted an official at Song Da Company, the investor in the Da Dang-Da Chomo hydropower plant project, as saying that it may take at least two days to rescue the trapped workers.
At around 3 p.m., rescue teams were drilling through up to 15 meters of rocks and debris in the collapsed tunnel, hoping to make a hole to provide those workers trapped with air.
However, the drilling was slowed down due to a layer of hard rocks, authorities said.
A more powerful drilling machine was mobilized to the scene as of 3 p.m.