China Sinkhole Appears Suddenly, Swallows Man

March 27, 2013 12:46 pm Last Updated: April 4, 2013 6:26 pm

A 25-year-old Chinese man died after a sinkhole opened up suddenly near a construction site in Shenzhen.

The man was walking near a construction site when a 50-foot-deep sinkhole opened up. The South China Morning Post identified the man as security guard Yang Jiabin, who was walking with an umbrella before the ground opened up beneath him.  

The sinkhole was captured on video, illustrating just how fast one can form. The video, according to media reports, was comprised of closed-circuit footage.

It was not clear how the sinkhole was caused.

The Post said that residents near where the hole opened up complained about tremors that were caused by a nearby construction site just six feet away.

An on-site “expert” was quoted by the paper as saying that nearby buildings are safe.

The Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported that authorities were able to recover the body of Yang but he was already pronounced dead, according to the Metro.

In China, sinkholes are commonplace. News Limited in Australia reported that in Beijing, there have been more than 100 sinkholes formed over the past two months, mainly due to bad construction practices.

Last June, a sinkhole opened up in southern Guangxi Province and swallowed a van, causing injuries to the driver.

And in August, the northeastern city of Harbin endured a sudden rash of sinkholes, triggering a widespread discussion about their cause. Around seven sinkholes appeared in the city over the span of about a week, killing two and injuring more.

Many Chinese netizens believe that sinkholes are caused by shoddy construction practices.

There are “obvious engineering quality problems [and] have little to do with natural disasters,” one blogger wrote last year when the Harbin sinkholes appeared.