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16 workers trapped in tunnel after landslide

Kathmandu, April 25 (Reuters): Sixteen workers, including a Chinese national, have been trapped by a landslide inside the tunnel of a hydroelectric power project in Nepal, a project official said today.

The men were working at the Upper Madi Hydroelectric Project in Kaski district, 125km west of Kathmandu, when falling earth and rocks blocked the tunnel entrance.

“Excavators are removing the debris and we are trying to rescue those trapped inside,” said Ram Raj Koirala, a Nepali official at the power station being built by a Chinese firm. He said rescuers had established contact with 13 of the 16 people trapped in the tunnel and they were safe.

There was no information about the others.

Drinking water and air have been supplied to the men through pipes and they are expected to be out in three to four hours, Koirala said from the site. The project would generate 25 megawatts of power in the energy-starved country.

 
 
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