Giant Sinkhole Swallows an Entire Bus and Dozens of People in China

A massive sinkhole opened in Xining, Qinghai province in China, on Monday evening, right before evening rush hour. It swallowed an entire bus with everyone on it, and pedestrians standing at the bus station who tried to help those on the bus.
Sinkhole opens under bus, swallows it whole in Qinghai province in China 5 photos
School bus has a cocktail of snow and gravitySchool bus has a cocktail of snow and gravitySchool bus has a cocktail of snow and gravitySchool bus has a cocktail of snow and gravity
The incident was captured by surveillance cameras and posted on social media, again prompting outrage from residents as to the increased number of such incidents in the country. It is believed that sinkholes are opening up without apparent reason because of poor construction work, which is happening at a rapid pace to keep up with demand for more property development.

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.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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