Major news agencies around the world such as AP, AFP and Reuters on December 19 run articles on Vietnam's successful rescue of 12 trapped workers in a collapsed hydropower plant tunnel.

AFP of France reported that with tireless efforts by rescuers, the 11 men and one woman were led from the tunnel in good health. Part of the tunnel of Da Dang-Da Chomo hydroelectric power plant in Lac Duong district, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong collapsed on the morning of December 16 after heavy rain in the area.

The painstaking rescue efforts were slowed by more than 14 metres (45 feet) of rock and debris blocking the rescuers from the victims, it wrote.

According to the US news agency AP, the rescued 12 workers need medical attention but are in stable condition. Rescuers drilled a hole to deliver air and food to the workers while engineering troops and miners dug a tunnel to reach them.

Meanwhile, Reuters of the UK praised Vietnamese rescue forces’ efforts in a race against time to save the trapped workers.

Bad weather and the complicated geology of the site had hampered the rescue effort since the accident, with fears the workers might not survive after battles to supply them with oxygen and drain water rising around them, it wrote.
“Television footage showed rescue teams and workers emerging from the collapsed tunnel and being greeted by applause, smiles and cries of relief after a nearly 82-hour mission that gripped the country.”

It quoted Secretary of the Lam Dong provincial Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Tien as saying that “there's no better joy than seeing the 12 victims rescued safely. They made magic."

Other news agencies like China’s Xinhua, Independent of the UK, and Thailand's Asia Network Bangkok Post also covered Vietnam’s rescue operation.

The 475 billion VND (22.6 million USD) plant, invested by the Civil Engineering Construction Corp. No. 5 (CIENCO 5), is designed to have a capacity of 22 MW.

The collapsed site is about 500 metres from the opening of the 700-m-long tunnel running though the mountain to bring water to the plant.

Thirty-two workers were in the tunnel when the collapse occurred and 20 of them were able to escape.-VNA