Sinkhole swallows bus in China, leaving several dead and missing

Beijing: A bus plunged into a sinkhole on a city street in north-western China, killing at least six people and leaving four missing, authorities said.

Some 1,000 emergency workers and 30 vehicles were sent to the site, the emergency management bureau in the city of Xining said. A crane was called in to lift the bus above the sinkhole so rescue workers could look for victims.

A crane was called in to lift the bus out of the sinkhole.Credit:AP

Video apparently shot by security cameras just after the accident showed the bus gradually settling into the hole while people nearby scrambled for safety.

Other video showed the bus tipped more than halfway into the chasm that had opened up at a bus stop just outside a health clinic.

Light and smoke were coming to the surface, possibly as a result of the rupture of gas or electricity lines.

Workers using backhoes, dump trucks and other equipment excavated earth around the collapse.

Rescue workers try to reach people in the bus, which plunged into the sinkhole.Credit:AP

The collapse on Monday afternoon left 16 people in hospital. The emergency management bureau said the bus had been raised from the collapsed 80-square-metre section into which it had fallen.

The hilly city of Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, one of China's poorest regions, sitting atop the Tibetan Plateau.

The expedited building of roads, tunnels, bridges and other infrastructure to keep China's economy strong has often led to corner-cutting on safety, causing fatal workplace and industrial accidents.

Mining had also caused instability in the ground in many areas after years of barely restricted mineral extraction.


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