Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 February 2020

Six dead as huge sinkhole swallows bus in China

Footage showed people at a bus stop running for their lives as a road collapsed beneath them and the bus sank into the ground

An enormous sinkhole swallowed a bus and pedestrians in north-west China, causing an explosion.

Six people were killed in the incident and four more are missing, state media said on Tuesday.

Footage showed people at a bus stop running for their lives as a road collapsed beneath them and the bus sank into the ground.

Several people disappeared into the sinkhole as it spread, including what appeared to be a child. The incident also triggered an explosion inside the hole, video showed.

Sinkholes are not unknown in China, where they are often blamed on construction works and the country’s rapid pace of development.

The incident occurred at about 5.30pm (1.30pm UAE time) on Monday in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, the state-run broadcaster CCTV said.

A search and rescue operation involving more than 1,000 people and 30 vehicles was under way, said the official Xinhua news agency.

An investigation into the cause has been opened.

Video footage published by state broadcaster CGTN showed a person being pulled from the hole by rescue workers.

The collapse left an 80-square-metre pit in the street, outside a hospital.

The 16 injured were taken to hospital and are in a stable condition, Xinhua said, citing a local emergency management official.

In 2016, at least three people fell into a huge sinkhole in central Henan province, which swallowed a section of road and passersby.

Updated: January 14, 2020 12:42 PM

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