BEIJING – A subway tunnel under construction in eastern China collapsed Saturday, trapping workers and creating a huge crater into which more than 10 vehicles plunged, a local official said. At least one person died and 16 were missing, state media reported.
A 65-foot-wide section of road over the construction site collapsed in the eastern city of Hangzhou, said a city official who gave only his surname, Zheng, as is customary. He said at least 10 vehicles had fallen into the crater.
Nineteen people were hospitalized, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Water from a nearby river was seeping into the tunnel and had reached a depth of about 16 feet, Xinhua said. About 2,000 rescuers were struggling to pump out the water and search for the trapped people, who were believed to be mostly construction workers, it said.
Five scuba divers were searching for people inside the vehicles, the news agency said.
Witnesses said 27 people aboard a bus that fell into the crater managed to escape, it said.
A rescue spokesman said one person was killed and 16 were missing, Xinhua said.
It said the exact number of people trapped underground was still not known.
The 43-mile subway project is being built at a cost of $5.1 billion as is due to be completed in 2011, Xinhua said.