Bodies Recovered From Tunnel That Was Submerged by Floodwaters in Central China

By Rita Li
Rita Li
Rita Li
Rita Li is a reporter with The Epoch Times, focusing on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2018.
July 23, 2021 Updated: July 23, 2021

Bodies have been recovered after massive floods swallowed up a tunnel in a central Chinese city earlier this week, trapping hundreds of vehicles and drivers.

An online video posted on July 23 shows rescuers transporting covered bodies from the tunnel. It comes after hundreds of thousands of cubic liters of water filled the tunnel within a short period during evening peak hour traffic on Tuesday.

Heavy rainfall stunned residents in Zhengzhou and several cities in central China’s Henan Province in the past week since July 17. Floodwaters have inundated farmland, riverbanks, and streets, cutting off water and electricity. More than a million have been displaced across the province.

The number of casualties from the flooded tunnel is unknown. The Chinese regime has reported the overall death toll from the floods to be over 50 people, but analysts say that due to Beijing’s tight censorship during times of emergency this is likely to be far less than the actual figure.

An online photo shows that water had completely submerged the tunnel’s entrance after 5 p.m. on July 20. The underpass is over 2.5 miles long and nearly 20 feet high.

JG Tunnel, Zhengzhou
The flood submerges the entrance of Jingguang Expressway tunnel at Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, on July 20. (Sound of Hope)

In a July 22 social media post by a person claiming to be an on-site volunteer rescuer, they said that hundreds of cars were in the tunnel when it flooded.

Thousands of people were trapped in the floodwaters, the post said. “Few rescued themselves out,” it added.

Yet Beijing-based Business magazine Caixin Global reported on July 23 that only two people were found dead from the tunnel.

Other photos circulating online on Thursday show dozens of flooded vehicles piled up at the south entrance of the tunnel.

Police have blocked the scene as rescue work is continuing.

In one social media post by a person claiming to be a witness at the scene, they said that dozens of bodies had been found from cars as the tunnel was being drained.

According to China’s National Meteorological Centre, Zhengzhou was hit with record rain on Tuesday at around 8 inches per hour—nearly one-third of the city’s average annual rainfall.

Rita Li
Rita Li
Rita Li is a reporter with The Epoch Times, focusing on China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2018.