21 workers trapped under collapsed tunnel rescued in China

The 21 workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in east China's Fujian Province for more than a day were rescued on Saturday.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 06, 2014, 23:18 PM IST

Beijing: The 21 workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in east China's Fujian Province for more than a day were rescued on Saturday.

Rescuers began pulling them out at 11:32 am. At a local hospital, their condition was described as fine.

A 30 meter expressway tunnel was being expanded to accommodate the expressway linking Xiamen City in Fujian and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province in Longyan City, when it collapsed yesterday.

Among the 21 workers buried inside, 16 were from central China's Hubei province, including three who arrived only a week ago.

Jin Min led them to work in the project.

"When I finished my shift on Thursday evening and left at 9 pm, there was nothing unusual in the tunnel," Jin recalled.

He was awakened at midnight by a noise.

"The window was shaking and people were shouting outside," he said.

"I knew something bad had happened."

About 500 or 600 rescuers arrived and Jin heard the trapped workers knocking on a pipe to confirm that the vent was working properly.

Two hours later, he heard their voices.

The trapped workers also managed to send out a piece of red cloth to tell the outside that they were safe, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.