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Huge sinkhole swallows bus, kills six in China

Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 14:33 GMT+7
Huge sinkhole swallows bus, kills six in China
A bus and several passersby fell into the huge sinkhole as it spread. Photo: AFP

An enormous sinkhole swallowed a bus and pedestrians in China, sparking an explosion, killing six people and leaving 10 more missing, state media said Tuesday.

Footage showed people at a bus stop running from the collapsing road, as the bus -- jutting into the air -- sank halfway into the ground.

Several people disappeared into the sinkhole as it spread, including what appeared to be a child.

The incident, outside a hospital, also triggered an explosion inside the hole, video showed.

Search and rescue work was underway and the cause of the accident was under investigation, the state-run CCTV broadcaster said.

The incident occurred at around 5:30 pm (0930 GMT) on Monday in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province, CCTV said, adding 16 people had been taken to hospital.

Sinkholes are not unknown in China, where they are often blamed on construction works and the country's rapid pace of development.

In 2016, at least three people fell into a huge sinkhole in central Henan province, which swallowed a section of road and passersby.

An initial investigation showed the collapse might have been caused by water pipes buried under the road breaking up due to the rain.

In 2013, five people died when a 10-metre (33-foot) wide sinkhole opened up at the gates of an industrial estate in Shenzhen.

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