16 missing in Chinese expressway tunnel cave-in

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 2:39pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 2:41pm

Chinese state media say 16 people are missing following the cave-in of a highway tunnel under construction in the country’s southeast.

The Xinhua news agency said on Monday that rescuers are searching for those trapped in the collapse on Sunday night near the city of Ganzhou in Jiangxi province. The tunnel is part of a 3,429-kilometre-long expressway running almost the entire length of the country from north to south.

Rescue officials reached by phone said they had no updates.

Poor design, stolen building materials and shoddy workmanship have led to a spate of bridge collapses and unusable roadways as the country races to shore up the economy by investing in infrastructure. Construction schedules are often highly compressed, leading to higher degrees of risk.