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Chinese rescuers try to reach 9 trapped construction workers

Posted September 15

— Rescuers in southern China were racing Friday to save nine construction workers trapped for more than a day after a railway tunnel collapsed, local authorities said.

The tunnel collapsed Thursday morning in a mountainous area in southern Yunnan province, near the borders with Myanmar and Laos. The official Xinhua news agency said rescuers dug a small opening in the rubble and were able to confirm Friday morning that all the workers had survived.

A small pipe had been fed through the opening, and a mobile phone signal amplifier had been installed to make it easier to keep in contact with the trapped workers, local authorities told Xinhua.

Deadly construction site accidents remain common in China, sometimes caused by workers cutting corners as they rush to meet deadlines, though pressure has increased in recent years for better regulations, safety training and equipment.

Industrial accidents declined almost 25 percent in the first seven months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to the State Administration of Work Safety. The number of people killed fell by almost 17 percent to 19,783, the administration said on its website.

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