The BBC reports that at least 6 people have died and 13 were injured in the incident, but rescue efforts are still underway as of the time of writing. First responders lifted the bus from the pit with the help of a crane. By the time this happened, the bus had been swallowed almost completely, and only a small bit of the rear was still visible from above.
As the surveillance footage shows, the bus had just pulled into the bus stop outside a hospital. As passengers were boarding, the sinkhole opened and swallowed the front part of the bus and a nearby pole. Most pedestrians at the stop ran for their lives, but some returned to help those dangling on the edge of the pit.
The sinkhole widened and swallowed them too. At least a couple of explosions are seen on the video, followed by a larger ball of fire, before plumes of smoke pour out of the hole.
Authorities have said that the sinkhole was at least 32 feet in diameter, with an area of about 860 square feet. They’re still working to determine how many people were on the bus and around it at the time of the incident, while they continue looking for casualties.
Sinkholes usually appear when acidic rainwater dissolves the rock or limestone beneath the soil / pavement, which becomes too weak to sustain the weight of everything above it. In China, it is believed the cause is rapid construction work done without consideration for safety standards.
#China A bus fell into a suddenly developed sinkhole when passengers were boarding the bus at the bus stop.— W. B. Yeats (@WBYeats1865) January 13, 2020
Explosions and fire are visible from the sinkhole.
This happened in Xining, Qinghai Province; some sources suggest 13 were injured and 2 are still missing. pic.twitter.com/ieB1TdnfvX