6 killed as giant sinkhole swallows China bus, pedestrians

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2020

The collapse took place on a busy main street in the city center of Xining, the provincial capital and largest city in the far northwestern province of Qinghai.

Footage of the incident circulating online indicated that the collapse was followed by an explosion and heavy smoke from inside the hole.

The incident happened at 5.30 p.m. local time on Monday as passengers prepared to board the bus outside Changcheng Hospital, killing least six people.

Almost 1,000 rescuers, 30 vehicles and two excavators have been dispatched to the site.

Sinkholes are not uncommon in China and are often blamed on the extensive construction that has come with its rapid economic development in recent years. The bus has been lifted out of the hole by Tuesday morning.

Authorities have said that the sinkhole was at least 32 feet in diameter, with an area of about 860 square feet.

Those injured in the incident are described as being in a stable condition, state media reported.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the collapse.

In December, three people fell into a giant sinkhole in Guangzhou City when the road suddenly collapsed near a construction site.

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It's not clear how many people were inside the bus when the cave-in occurred, or if other passengers also fell into the hole.

And in 2013 five people were killed when a 10-meter (33 feet) wide sinkhole opened up in the southern city of Shenzhen.

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