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

Krisztina plays with her children on their balcony in Budapest, Hungary

In Pictures: How people in Budapest are keeping cool amidst heatwave

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, leaves a federal courthouse in Los Angeles on Wednesday August 10 2022

Photographs of basketball star Kobe Bryant’s body were ‘shared for a laugh’

Courtney Clenney has been arrested on suspicion of murder

Social media model Courtney Clenney arrested in Hawaii on suspicion of murder

Virus Outbreak North Korea

Kim Jong Un ‘suffered fever’ during North Korea’s Covid wave, says his sister

Russia Ukraine War

Satellite images show Crimea airbase damaged after apparent Ukrainian attack

The Spanish government has limited air conditioning and heating

Spain cracks down on air conditioning and heating in bid to save energy

Former US national security adviser John Bolton

Iranian operative charged in plot to murder Trump security adviser John Bolton

A resident sits on the sea wall as smoke rises in the background from a deadly fire at a large oil storage facility in Matanzas, Cuba

Firefighters subdue deadly blaze at key oil facility in Cuba

Rising smoke can be seen from the beach at Saky after explosions were heard from the direction of a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea

Ukraine says nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in Crimea blasts

The river Rhine is pictured with low water in Cologne, Germany

Fears mount that water levels in Rhine river could fall below critical mark

Former US president Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower on Wednesday August 10 2022 in New York

Donald Trump says he took the fifth amendment in New York investigation

Former US president Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, late on Tuesday August 9 2022, in New York

Donald Trump arrives to give evidence in New York investigation

Taiwan’s military conducts artillery live-fire drills at Fangshan township in Pingtung, southern Taiwan, Tuesday, August 9, 2022

China appears to wind down threatening war games near Taiwan

People line up to enter an H&M shop and buy items on sale in the Aviapark shopping centre in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday August 9 2022

Russians buy last goods from H&M and Ikea as stores wind down

Tom Daley blames 'legacy of colonialism' for homophobia in the Commonwealth

Tom Daley blames British Empire's legacy of colonialism' for homophobic laws in Commonwealth nations

France Whale in Seine

Beluga whale stranded in French river dies, authorities say