You think your commute sucks? Trust me, it could be worse. While waiting for a bus in northeastern China, in the province of Heilongjiang, four unsuspecting people found themselves falling into a sudden sinkhole. CCTV footage captured the terrifying scene as the helpless souls were sucked into the abyss.
While sinkholes have been a bit of a world-wide phenomenon over the last eighteenth months, China has experienced more than any other country. As part of the rapid urban expansion in the nation, a number of underground passageways have been dug without appropriate levels of waterproofing. Over time, this causes the earth to give way, as was the case on Guxiang Avenue for those standing above waiting for the bus.
After days of heavy rains had finally subsided, residents were looking forward to some clearer skies and warmer temperatures. Of the four people who were sucked into the sinkhole, at least two were on their way to work when everything quickly went wrong. Vibrations from a nearby train caused the collapse, which caught everyone off guard. One woman was able to reach out and grab onto some electrical cables to prevent herself from falling to the bottom of the crevice. The other three people standing next to her were not so lucky and landed on the rock-covered ground over 20 feet below. In total, the gaping hole in the sidewalk was over 100 feet wide.
Other pedestrians who had not fallen in were able to slowly pull the injured up from the sinkhole with the assistance of some rope and by climbing on the fallen pavement that piled up at the bottom of the pit. Fortunately, there were no fatalities and everyone was treated for only minor injuries, although the four were transported to a hospital for an additional set of tests before being released.
In the strangest and most infuriating part of the story, a local official speaking after the incident stated that he was happy no one was injured, but that the woman who grabbed onto the electrical wires will be required to pay for their repair since she, not the sinkhole, was responsible for the damage.