In Central Vietnam, a tunnel caved in while a number of men were working on the Da Dang-Da Chomo hydropower plant located in Lam Dong province.

This year, Vietnam is currently putting up new plants in order to boost its overall energy production more rapidly, especially because it derives approximately one-third of its electricity from hydropower.

The Da Dang-Da Chomo hydropower plant is expected to generate over 110 million kWh per year. Unfortunately, a section of the Vietnam 20-meter tunnel, which is under construction, had collapsed because safety protocols were allegedly not properly observed in the worksite while there was a heavy rain. In addition to this, the construction materials’ quality also seems questionable to the eyes of the authorities.

Rescue teams appear to be struggling at present as they strive to race against time in order to save the twelve men trapped because of the tunnel collapse. According to the director of Song Da 505, Dang Quang Dat, the laborers are certainly running low on oxygen by now and considering that the space is too narrow, it is very likely that it will be extremely difficult for the trapped laborers to survive under their present condition (Hanoi, 2014).

At first, concerned authorities have drilled into the rock in order to provide compressed air for the men to breathe. The problem, however, is that twelve hours after the accident, compressed air can no longer be sent to the trapped men because all tubes have already been blocked. According to Deputy Minister of Construction, Le Quang Hung, the water level is gradually increasing, and if not rescued immediately, the workers’ lives will be in an even bigger danger than now.

Latest updates have confirmed that all twelve workers are still safe despite the fact that their life is relying heavily on the scaffold they are sitting on in order to prevent themselves from drowning. Rescuers are currently doing their best to drill another hole into the collapsed section of the tunnel in an effort to bring some of the trapped workers out of the ruins through a pipe.

Several rescuers, fire fighters and security force members are working together in order to help the trapped laborers by pumping the water out of the tunnel and making sure that effective methods will be employed in order to free all twelve men out of the death trap. The Chief of District Police, Mr. Vu Tuan Anh, stated that the twelve workers’ ages range from 25 to 30, and that the said laborers are from the central province of Vietnam called Nghe An and others are from Vietnam’s northern province of Ha Nam.

According to initial investigations conducted by the authorities, the reason as to why the tunnel had collapsed after the heavy rain is not yet clear but many suspects that the incident happened due to the poor geological structure of the area. Moreover, the continuous heavy rain over the past few days may have caused some parts of the tunnel to cave in.

Sources:

BBC News. (2014). Vietnam tunnel collapse traps 12 workers underground. Retrieved fromhttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30510211

Hanoi. (2014). Vietnam tunnel collapses. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/us-vietnam-rescue-idUSKBN0JU1PH20141216