At least 8 dead in construction site collapse in China

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

Several workers were rescued at the site of subway construction in Foshan

In this image taken from video footage run by China's CCTV via AP Video, a section of collapsed road is seen in Foshan in southern China's Guangdong Province on Thursday. Chinese authorities say a cave-in at a subway line construction site has killed several people and left others missing. (CCTV via AP Video)

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.

Foshan is in the industrial heartland of Guangdong province close to the financial hub of Hong Kong.

The site of the collapse was 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 six metres, according to state broadcaster CCTV

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

The line under construction runs for 23 kilometres 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.

Most recently, gas leaking from a pipeline at a steel mill in the southern Chinese 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.