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Five workers die in flooded pipeline

AUTHORITIES in Hainan Province confirmed last night that five workers who had been trapped for more than 20 hours in an undersea pipeline that flooded were dead.

Rescue workers were continuing to look for the bodies of the workers, officials told reporters in Haikou, the provincial capital.

The pipeline connected to a sewage treatment pipe filled with seawater about 7:45pm on Wednesday. Six workers were in the pipe at the time, but only one managed to escape.

Survivor Gao Peizhi was about 400 meters away from a vertical shaft when he heard an unusual sound and started to run. He reached the shaft and managed to escape, according to Bao Yiguo, an investigator with the local work safety bureau.

Gao told one of the workers who was eventually trapped to run, but the worker failed to escape.

The five victims were between 23 and 47 years old. They were from villages in Gaochun County, Jiangsu Province, Bao said.

Lin, the Haikou government secretary general, said families of the five workers have been notified. Six divers were assisting in trying to find the workers.

Li Quan, a designer of the pipeline and the shaft, said the shaft was more than 20 meters deep and the 1.6-meter-wide pipe was 1.35 kilometers long.


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