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8 dead at south China subway construction site

8 dead at south China subway construction site
An image taken from China's CCTV shows the section of collapsed road in Foshan. (CCTV / AP)

Authorities in southern China say eight people have died and three are missing in a cave-in at a subway line construction site.

The municipal government in Foshan said the collapse occurred at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday and that nine workers had been rescued and were in stable condition.

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Foshan is in the industrial heartland of Guangdong province, near the financial hub of Hong Kong.

The collapse occurred in a central area of the city beneath an eight-lane road. An area the size of two basketball courts sunk to a depth of 20 feet, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Water had been entering the site from leaking pipes, which workers attempted to plug but ultimately caused a burst that led to the collapse, CCTV said.

The line under construction runs for 14 miles through the city north of the provincial capital of Guangzhou, also known as Canton.

The rapid expansion of subway networks in Chinese cities has frequently led to cave-ins and other deadly accidents, and while China has made considerable progress in improving industrial safety, scores are still killed annually in factories, coal mines and transportation networks.

Also in China, gas leaking from a pipeline at a steel mill in the southern province of Guangdong killed eight people and injured 10 on Monday.

In the deadliest recent incident, an explosion in 2015 traced to improperly stored chemicals killed at least 173 people in the port city of Tianjin, about an hour east of Beijing.

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