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200 Feared Dead At North Korean Nuclear Test Site

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At least 200 people may have died after a tunnel collapsed during a nuclear test in North Korea.

The tunnel fell while workers were constructing an underground facility at the Punggye-ri site in North Korea, Fox News reports. North Korea has yet to officially confirm the event.

When the tunnel collapsed, 100 people were trapped before rescue attempts caused the tunnel to fall even deeper, killing a total of 200 on Oct. 10, reports Japan's Asahi TV.

Some believe the tunnel collapsed after North Korea's sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 weakened the ground around the site. It was the country's most powerful to date, and reportedly 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, triggering off a 6.3 earthquake.

Before the tunnel collapsed, experts repeatedly warned North Korea nuclear tests could cause such catastrophes to occur.

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In Early October, Chinese scientists warned North Korea an implosion could occur at the Punggye-ri nuclear facility, about 50 miles from China’s border, reports South China Morning Post.

According to The Washington Post, Chinese scientists also warned North Korea that nearby Mount Mantap was suffering from “tired mountain syndrome” as a result of the tests. If it collapses, it could release radiation that would fall over China.

"China cannot sit and wait until the site implodes," a researcher studying the radioactive risk from the North Korean nuclear program at Peking University said. "Our instruments can detect nuclear fallout when it arrives, but it will be too late by then. There will be public panic and anger at the government for not taking action."

"Maybe the North Koreans themselves have realized that the site cannot take another blow," they added. "If they still want to do it, they have to do it somewhere else."

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Already South Korea has detected radioactive Xenon-133 on their soil.

Meanwhile, U.S. experts echoed similar concerns in early October, warning that another North Korean nuclear test site in the country's northwest could cave in, reports the Daily Mail.

The news comes around the same time North Korea blamed President Donald Trump’s "extreme, direct and long threats" for forcing them to obtain "complete nuclear deterrence" on Oct. 30.

"The U.S. has to ponder over the possible consequences," the statement released by state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

The following day, North Korea continued, adding "the Trump group's vicious vituperation against the DPRK is an expression of their frustration, fear and horror."

Sources: Fox News, Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Asahi TV via dongA.comSouth China Morning Post / Featured Image: Steven L. Herman /Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Uwe Brodrecht/Flickr, Laika ac/Flickr

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