Japan: Five missing as tunnel collapses at oil refinery

Divers have begun searching for five missing workers in the dark and muddy waters of a collapsed tunnel at one of Japans biggest oil refineries.

Six people were in the partially constructed undersea tunnel at Kurashiki when it caved in, but one managed to get out, a spokesman for the city fire department said.

The survivor “said that sea water came gushing in” and flooded the tunnel, according to the spokesman.The man told police that he thought he heard a voice saying “Danger! Leave!” and climbed up a staircase to the surface.The accident happened at Mizushima Refinery, operated by JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corp, around 550 kilometres west of Tokyo.

Six police divers entered the vertical shaft of the tunnel where visibility was low because of debris, mud and oil.

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