Rescuers recovered a worker's body from a collapsed subway
tunnel in Beijing Friday afternoon after more than 50 hours of
excavation, but five others are still buried underground.
The body was found at about 6:40 PM at a construction site for
the No. 10 Subway Line in Haidian Nanlu Road between the third and
fourth northern ring roads in the city's Haidian District.
Rescuers are still trying to reach five other workers buried
underground, but they held out little hope that they could have
The collapse occurred at 9:20 AM Wednesday, but the construction
company -- China Railway 12th Bureau Group Co. -- failed to report
the accident to municipal authorities and instead tried to rescue
the trapped workers on its own.
The collapsed section of the tunnel covers an area of about 20
square meters and is about 11 meters underground.
Local police have detained 10 people over the subway cave-in,
including the work supervisor and tunnel designers but the labor
contractor, Zhou Yongfu, is reported to have fled.
In an attempted cover-up, project managers ordered all the
workers to stay at the construction site and told them not to talk
to media and police. They confiscated mobile phones from
The Beijing municipal authority finally learned of the accident
at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, almost eight hours after the collapse
occurred, after a worker from Henan called Henan police.
Workers' anger was palpable. Signs showing the construction
company's logo were defaced at the construction site.
Municipal government officials on Friday told Xinhua that rescue
work had been delayed by the company's cover-up attempts and the
complicated underground conditions.
(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2007)