Heavy rains along the Egypt-Gaza border have destroyed dozens of tunnels used for smuggling, German news agency DPA quoted a senior Egyptian security source as saying Thursday.
Tunnels collapsed after they were flooded, injuring dozens inside and damaging goods that were being transported through the cross-border tunnels, the source said.
Rafah authorities rescued four workers and a girl in one of the tunnels, Gaza-based Palestine newspaper quoted Rafah Mayor Sobhi Radwan as saying Wednesday.
There are no official estimates for the number of smuggling tunnels, but Israel news reports allege there are hundreds.
The Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights estimates that 197 people have been killed from 2006 to 2011 in the tunnels, including 10 children.
The illegal passageways are key to supplying Gaza's economy during the Israel blockade of the strip. Israel has recently eased restrictions on building materials and other supplies entering the enclave as part of the terms of an Egypt-brokered cease fire with Hamas.