Nine workers are still reported missing in a flooded railroad tunnel in central China.

The official Xinhua news agency said 52 people were at work building the tunnel early Sunday when water began pouring in. 43 of the workers were rescued. Officials are using pumps and boats to try to locate the missing workers.

The 14-kilometer-long tunnel is part of a rail line linking Yichang City in Hubei Province with Wanzhou in southwest China.

Heavy rains in recent weeks have triggered flooding and mudslides across central China. Xinhua says 78 people died and 18 are missing after three days of downpours set off flash floods last week in Henan province.

Floods in China have killed more than 700 people this year. Millions of people face shortages of drinking water in other parts of the country because of high temperatures and record droughts.