Seven killed after tunnel collapses

A Chinese worker is among seven people confirmed dead after a tunnel collapsed at a dam in Burma’s eastern Karenni state.

Six of the men were killed on the spot while another died in hospital, according to a resident of the Karenni state capital of Loikaw. The tunnel, which acts as a water exit passage from the Hydropower Project-3 development, run by the Asia World conglomerate, caved in as the workers poured concrete inside.

“The workers knew the tunnel was about to collapse so they told their boss to evacuate but he didn’t agree,” said the man. “Finally the tunnel collapsed and the Chinese boss was among the dead. The workers paid for his wrong decision.”

The bodies were reportedly buried in the grounds of Loikaw hospital, which declined to give details about the surviving worker.

Chinese engineers had visited the hydropower site in April 2009 for upgrades – the project was developed with financial support from Beijing, which has hungrily tapped Burma’s vast hydropower potential.

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