Rescuers drill hole to communicate with 12 trapped miners in Vietnam

While oxygen and food can now reach the workers, officials are worried about rising water levels

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The Independent Online

Rescuers in Vietnam have managed to drill a hole through a collapsed tunnel to communicate with 12 trapped workers on Wednesday.

An official said the workers were safe after becoming trapped on Tuesday when the tunnel of a hydropower plant gave way.

Rescuers drilled a hole through a collapsed tunnel in central Vietnam and were communicating with 12 trapped workers who said they were safe, according to an official on Wednesday.

Le Duc Long, a local official in Lam Dong province, explained that rescuers had drilled a hole through the 118ft-long collapsed section of the tunnel around ten hours after the incident.

Video from the scene shows people pumping oxygen and food, such as bread, through the tube to reach the trapped workers.

It is believed the collapse occurred due to the weak geological structure of the area and heavy rains over the past few days.

The collapse happened nearly 1,000ft from the entrance of the tunnel and around 20 workers managed to escape unhurt when the walls tumbled.

While communication has now been made and food and oxygen are able to reach the 12 workers, officials said it could take a number of days for them to actually rescue them given the amount of mud, sand and debris in their way.

Most worrying is that water levels are rising and firefighters and security forces involved in the rescue are struggling to drain out the water.