The 12 employees who had become trapped when a Vietnamese tunnel being constructed in Lam Dong province collapsed, have been rescued after a four-day ordeal.

They had been working at the site linked to the development of the $22 million Da Dang-Da Chromo hydropower plant owned by the Long Hoi Company, which is under development by a number of contractors including the Song Da 505 Corporation.

According to local government sources, emergency teams drilled from both ends of the tunnel and dug from above the site of the incident to free the 11 men and one woman.

Rescuers had managed to bore a hole through the rubble to link a tube pumping oxygen to the trapped workers who were reported to be employed by contractor Song Da 505. More than 200 people had been involved with the emergency operation.

It had resulted in a personal pledge from the country’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to take all possible steps to recover the trapped workers – none of whom are said to be seriously injured.

The project began in 2003 and is understood to have suffered a series of setbacks. It is one of a number being developed in Vietnam to increase national levels of energy generation.

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