At least six people have been killed and 16 injured after an enormous sinkhole swallowed a bus and a number of pedestrians in central China.
In this image made from CCTV video, a bus plunges into a sinkhole in the center of a downtown street, Monday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Xining, Qinghai province, China.
Several deadly sinkholes have been reported in China in recent years.
The incident, outside a hospital, also triggered an explosion inside the hole, video showed.
The hilly city of Xining is the capital of Qinghai province, one of China's poorest regions, sitting atop the Tibetan Plateau.
A search and rescue operation involving more than 1,000 people and 30 vehicles was carried out.
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Sinkholes are commonly caused when soft material like limestone, carbonate rock or salt bed erodes beneath the surface; they can occur naturally or be caused by man-made behaviors tied to groundwater pumping or construction, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The incident is under investigation, the state-run broadcaster CCTV said. - An enormous sinkhole swallowed passers-by and a public bus in northwest China, reported state media on January 14, injuring fifteen people while another ten are still missing.
A ball of fire and the smoke can be seen bursting out of the huge sinkhole. Sixteen people were taken to hospital.
An initial investigation showed the collapse might have been caused by water pipes buried under the road breaking up due to the rain.
And in 2013 five people were killed with a 10 meter (33 feet) wide sinkhole opened up in the southern city of Shenzhen.