Six killed as giant sinkhole swallows bus in China

14 January 2020, 11:08

Chinese rescuers watching as a car is lifted out after a road collapse in Xining in China's northwestern Qinghai province.
Chinese rescuers watching as a car is lifted out after a road collapse in Xining in China's northwestern Qinghai province. Picture: Getty

By Sylvia DeLuca

At least six people have died and 16 others have been injured after a massive sinkhole swallowed up a bus which was picking up passengers in northwestern China.

The bus had stopped outside a hospital in Xining on the Tibetan Plateau on Monday evening when a gaping sinkhole suddenly opened up underneath it.

CCTV footage showed the bus being swallowed up by the ground as terrified passers-by ran for their lives.

It is unclear how many passengers were on board the bus - but six bodies were found and 16 people are being treated in hospital, the Xining municipal government said at a news conference on Tuesday morning.

Some 1,000 emergency workers and 30 vehicles were sent to the site after the incident also triggered an explosion inside the hole.

Workers could be seen using diggers, dump trucks and other equipment excavated earth around the collapse site.

CNN reports that a man could be seen picking up a baby from the edge of the sinkhole and bringing it to safety.

Search and rescue operations are still under way and it is thought that four people may still be missing.

Fifteen people were injured while another ten are still missing
Sixteen people were injured while another ten are still missing. Picture: Getty
A bus is lifted out after a road collapse in Xining in China's northwestern Qinghai province
A bus is lifted out after a road collapse in Xining in China's northwestern Qinghai province. Picture: Getty

According to state media, the sinkhole stretched nearly 10m (32 feet) in diameter and an investigation into the cause of the incident has begun.

It is not the first time a sinkhole has led to fatalities in China.

In 2013, five people were killed in a similar incident at an industrial estate in the southern city of Shenzhen. In 2016 at least three people fell into a huge sinkhole in central Henan province.

Then in 2018, four people were killed after a sinkhole opened up on a busy pavement in the city of Dazhou, south-west China

The sinkholes have often been blamed on construction works and the China’s rapid pace of development.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Belarus Russia Military

Biden says Putin will pay ‘dear price’ if he invades Ukraine

Donald Trump

Supreme Court allows release of presidential documents in Capitol investigation

President Biden stands next to a lectern

Democrats’ voting reform bill fails in US senate

Fisherman have protested in Peru after an oil spill caused by Friday's volcanic eruption

Tonga: Fishermen protest in Peru after sea life 'massacred' by oil spill caused by eruption

Biden

Biden admits nation is weary from Covid, but US in a better place

There have been concerns about 5G interference with plane equipment, leading to flights being cancelled

Flights to US grounded as fears grow over 5G interference with aircraft equipment

In this courtroom sketch, Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard appears for a bail hearing in Toronto (Alexandra Newbould/AP)

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard denied bail as he awaits trial in Canada

Jon Stewart (Phil McCarten/AP)

Comedian and talk show host Jon Stewart wins Mark Twain Award

A woman gets a manicure at the Van Gogh museum (Peter Dejong/AP)

Dutch cultural sector teams up with hairdressers in lockdown protest

The 39 victims were found in a lorry in Grays, Essex

Trafficking ringleader jailed in Belgium over Essex lorry deaths

Gaspard Ulliel has died aged 37

Marvel's Moon Knight star Gaspard Ulliel, 37, dies in Alps skiing accident

Macron said he want a sign of good faith from the UK

Macron blasts Britain as he blames London for migrant deaths in the Channel

Jane D Hartley (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Joe Biden names Democratic fundraiser as ambassador to UK

Gaspard Ulliel (Ian West/PA)

French actor Gaspard Ulliel dies after skiing accident in the Alps

General view of the centre of Pentonville Prison, London (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Pope Francis makes plea for redemption for prison inmates

A convoy of Russian armoured vehicles (AP)

Russia demands ‘watertight’ guarantee against Nato expansion to Ukraine