WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- At least six people died after a sinkhole swallowed a passenger bus in China.
- A closed-circuit television captured the road as it collapsed in Xining City in the northwestern part of the country.
- The ground also gave way underneath pedestrians trying to rescue the bus passengers.
At least six people have died and 16 others have been injured after a massive sinkhole swallowed up a bus picking up passengers in northwestern China, the latest in a recent string of deadly road collapses in the country.
A public bus had just halted at a stop in the city of Xining, Qinghai province on Monday afternoon when a gaping sinkhole suddenly opened up underneath it, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Dramatic surveillance footage showed passengers boarding the bus when the collapse happened, swallowing the front of the vehicle, a lamppost and people waiting in line, while others at the bus stop fled for their lives.
A young man who barely escaped was seen picking up a baby from the edge of the sinkhole and bringing it to safety. He then returned with several others to help a woman left hanging on the edge. As they tried to pull her up, however, the road collapsed a second time beneath their feet, plunging everyone into the pit.
Seconds later, an explosion could be seen inside the sinkhole, sending a ball of fire above ground, followed by a thick plume of smoke and a few smaller explosions.
Search and rescue efforts remain ongoing. A total of six bodies were found and 16 people are being treated in hospital, the Xining municipal government said at a news conference on Tuesday morning.
Government officials estimated that the sinkhole covers an area of about 80 square meters (860 square feet). Images from the scene early Tuesday showed rescue workers lifting the bus out of the hole using a large crane.