Around clock operation to rescue 12 workers in collapsed tunnel

Ministers of Construction, Industry & Trade, and Health on Wednesday arrived at the Da Dang-Da Chomo hydropower plant in Central Highlands Lam Dong to instruct around the clock rescue operations to free 12 trapped workers.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien visits a trapped worker’s relative (Photo: SGGP)

More rescue workers and machines have been mobilized to the scene at Da Dang-Da Chomo Hydropower in Lac Duong District, where the province’s senior leaders have also been present.

Major General Bui Van Son, director of the province Police Department has entered the tunnel to instruct rescue operations. Rescuers reported that the water level had risen to a meter inside the tunnel by Wednesday noon.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Tien, Secretary of Lam Dong province Party Committee and Mr. Doan Van Viet, Chairman of the province People’s Committee, ordered the rescue force to drill a spot in the lower reaches side of the tunnel to ram another pipe to provide more air for the workers and pump water out of collapsed tunnel.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung and Minster of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang (in the left and middle yellow helmets) are present at the scene to instruct rescue operations (Photo: SGGP)

On Tuesday night, they had drilled and installed an air conduit to allow oxygen to reach the trapped workers and deliver them with water, milk, sausage and soup through the conduit.

The rescue force has tried digging stone and soil in an attempt to reach 12 workers but not been successful.

Authorized agencies have conducted surveys in the tunnel area and uncovered two sinkholes on the hill above the tunnel, where rainwater would be able to run into.

Rescuers said that they could hear the workers’ voice and affirmed that they are still safe.

A sinkhole on the top of the tunnel (Photo: SGGP)

At the scene, Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung instructed rescue workers to urgently pump water out of the tunnel to ensure safety for the workers. He was dissatisfied as the investor of the Da Dang-Da Cho hydropower plant project has gone ‘missing’ since the accident occurred.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has mobilized doctors specializing in asphyxia prevention from Ho Chi Minh City to the site. In addition, the Health Department of Lam Dong Province has sent 32 medical workers together with nine ambulances to the scene.

The water level continues rising up inside the tunnel (Photo: SGGP)

Ho Chi Minh City Fire Fighting and Prevention Agency yesterday afternoon dispatched 45 officials and soldiers together with four special purpose vehicles, while Cho Ray Hospital also sent its deputy director Tran Minh Truong and two other doctors along with medicines and medical instruments to the accident site.

A delegation from the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group, who used to attending rescue operations in a mine collapse in Quang Ninh Province, have arrived at the Da Dang-Da Chomo hydropower plant.

Thirty two people were working inside a 500m long water conduit tunnel at the hydropower plant on Tuesday morning when a section of the tunnel fell down.

Twenty workers timely ran outside and escaped while the rest 12 workers including one woman ran towards the other side and got stuck. The weather was fine yesterday. However water has continued leaking and rising up inside the tunnel.

The 500m tunnel (Photo: SGGP)

Rescue workers fortify the tunnel (Photo: SGGP)
The pipe in the red circle releases water out while the pipe in the yellow circle provide the 12 trapped workers with soup (Photo: SGGP)

By staff writers – Translated by Hai Mien

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