media caption Video shows rising flood waters on a busy commuter train
As floodwaters hit a busy metro station in China on Tuesday, desperate passengers attempted to flee while others were helplessly swept from the platforms.
In a wagon, water seeped in and rose from ankle to waist and neck height. Panicked commuters stretched up to breathe, while d ' others lifted smaller people into the shrinking air pocket above.
In terrifying videos shared on social media, some passengers can be seen standing on chairs and hanging from the ceiling as the flood water rises. One tried to break a window, beforet to realize that there was still more water outside the cart.
Some filmed the unfolding tragedy, while others called their loved ones or posted calls for help. “I can't speak anymore,” a woman wrote on social media site Weibo. "If no rescue arrives in 20 minutes, hundreds of us will be killed.
"We were all standing on the seats, and the water was already on our knees "a woman who gave her name as Ms. Li told Elephant News.
" Some smaller passengers had water up to their necks ", a she said, adding that over time the air supply started to decrease.
After about an hour, the wagon was submerged in the water. darkness and the oxygen level further decreased. "I was really red sca, but the most terrifying thing wasn 't the water, but the dwindling air supply," one person toldReuters news agency.
After several hours of fear and uncertainty, rescuers were able to access through the roof of the car and took people out. "We tapped on the glass [on the ceiling] a bit. Then suddenly there was air," an anonymous woman told CCTV public broadcaster.
Image copyright Reuters
Hundreds of people were finally saved m the flooded subway tunnel of Zhengzhou, a city of 12 million people located on the banks of the Yellow River in central Henan Province.
But at least 12 died and five were injured in the metro disaster, which came after the region saw more rainfall in three days than it usually would in a year .
It is a rainy time of year in China, and floods occur every year. However, Chinese scientists claim that global warming has made the situation more dangerous and warn that extreme weather conditions could become more frequent in the future.
In Henan, at least 33 people died and over 200,000 were evacuated. The main roads have been transformed into rivers, with cars and debris swept away by rapid currents.
At the scene of Zhengzhou
At the Shakoulu metro station the shutters are clean, a small group of policemen watch over an entrance.
"Is this a crime scene? " I asked one of 's. 'them. "I can't talk to you, " he replied.
This is where graphic images, shared on social media, showed passengers lying lifeless on the platform below. You cannot desce therendre now. Zhengzh The western metro system is completely closed.
Above the ground, however, you can see the evidence and the consequences: there is mud and silt by the side of the road, on the other side of which I am writing workers are repairing part of the surface which was torn apart by the force of the water.
But at mto the right is the clearest proof of what happened here; a four-lane underpass disappears after a few meters under an impromptu lake.
The water spreads out, covering the road, as far as the eye can see. It almost arrives over the railings of the side walkway.
Poignant tales of the metro tragedy, and Dramatic floods around the province continue to emerge, with witnesses describing scenes of fear and chaos.
"At first there was not much water, then it 's like it all started to happen at the same time, "a woman in the flooded subway train told Pear Video.
" In about 30 minutes, it was up to my shoulders, ”she said. "It was difficult to breathe. Many people passed out.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was trapped for more than four hours and criedwhen she was finally rescued.
"There was so much water on the platform, and there was water leaking from the cracks in the metro doors, " Another passenger told Jiupai News.
"I'm quite tall, but after about five minutes the water was already in my chest," he said. "Tall people helped short people and children to get into the seats. I was holding someone's child.
In a post on Weibo, a woman said describes the panic in the car. "A lot of people started to suffer from breathing difficulties, " she wrote. "I heard a nearby passenger on her phone give her bank details to her. family, and thought I should do the same. "
" Water was leaking from the cracks in the door, more and more all of us who could, we were standing on the subway seats ", reads another post.
media caption A woman was caught on camera being blown off the street amid extreme flooding
Dramatic footage of surface rescues was also shared. used long ropes to keep people safe as they were swept away by gushing currents.
"I was lucky to stay home, but we had [ always] felt like we were going to be swept away, "Wang Qian told Hfrance.fr OS from Zhengzhou.
"I have contacted my whole family and luckily they are all safe and sound. "There is a lot of damage around us. I can see the flooding everywhere, a lot of cars and water everywhere " she said.
Her effortsUveting continues across the province, with more showers forecast for the remainder of the week.
"We are all waiting to see if everything will be okay soon, " Ms. Wang said. "We are very scared.
Additional reporting by Kerry Allen and Gareth Evans