5 construction workers killed when tunnel collapses in southern China

NAJIA TOWNSHIP, CHINA (BNO NEWS) -- A part of a tunnel under construction collapsed in southern China on early Wednesday morning, killing five construction workers and injuring another, a state-run news agency reported. The cause of the collapse was not immediately known.

The incident occurred at around 4 a.m. local time on Wednesday on a section of an expressway in Najia, a township in Debao County of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. The expressway, which is still under construction, links Baise City and Jingxi County.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said seven people were working in the expressway tunnel when a section collapsed, causing some 200 cubic meters of debris to cave in on them. Xie Deqiang, the local chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC), told Xinhua that one person escaped safely while six others were trapped.

One of those trapped was later rescued and rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, but his condition was not immediately known. The bodies of the five others were all pulled out by 11 a.m. local time and local authorities identified four of them as men from neighboring Guizhou province.

The cause of the collapse was not immediately known, but the rapid economic growth in China, in combination with poor safety measures, frequently result in deadly industrial accidents. A platform elevator fell from the top of a high-rise building and slammed into the ground at a construction site in central China on September 13, killing 19 people.

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