Nepal: 13 trapped tunnel workers rescued alive after 16 hours

Nepal: 13 trapped tunnel workers rescued alive after 16 hours

Thirteen construction workers, including a Chinese national, were rescued early today 16 hours after they were trapped by a landslide inside an under-construction tunnel of a major China-assisted hydropower project in western Nepal.

Some 16 Nepali workers and Chinese nationals were trapped inside the tunnel of Upper Madi hydropower project in Kaski district, about 125 kilometres from the capital, after a mudslide blocked its entrance yesterday.

However, three workers including another Chinese national, have not yet been found, Nepal Army sources said.

The workers were trapped for 16 hours inside the tunnel, which is being dug as part of the construction works of the 25 MW Madi Khola Hydropower project.

They were pulled out from the tunnel after clearing the debris with the help of excavators, loaders and breakers.

Army personnel and police were mobilised to rescue the workers.

Earlier yesterday, the rescue team had managed to establish contact with the trapped workers and supplied water and air to them through a pipe by digging a hole.
An excavator operator and two others are still missing after the landslide struck, according to police.

The project site at Sildujure is located in Kaski district, 17 km north of Pokhara, the tourist hub of western Nepal.
The USD 52 million project has a joint investment from China International Water and Electric Corporation and the Nepalese private sector partner.
The hydropower project, the first build-operate-transfer hydropower project invested by a Chinese firm in Nepal, would generate 25 MW of power in the energy-deficit country. PTI SBP
KUN 04261008

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