This latest gaping chasm is said to measure four-stories deep.

Did you ever play that game as a kid where you jump from carpet square to carpet square, pretending everything in between is a bottomless chasm? Pedestrians in China do that all the time, except for them it's absolutely real.

Thanks to shoddy construction jobs, leaky pipes eroding soil and other infrastructural problems, Chinese cities are plagued with sinkholes. Almost a hundred of them developed in Beijing during one month in 2012. Sinkholes have eaten pedestrians while they walked down the sidewalk, enveloped six buildings, a couple trees and some sidewalk and now have taken a poor man on a four-story-deep ride to oblivion in Shenzhen, a southern city near Hong Kong.

The newest hole lurched into being today near a construction site, sucking down paving stones in two locations. NBC reports:

The sinkhole, reportedly 16.5 feet in diameter and four-floors deep, swallowed up a 25-year-old security guard working in the tower. Rescue workers were able to reach the guard and take him to a nearby hospital, but he died soon after.

Shenzhen authorities are still unsure why the collapse happened. Residents interviewed by the Southern Metropolis reported recently feeling multiple tremors in the area around the construction site.

Somebody had already placed warning cones around the site before it collapsed, suggesting people were aware of the unsteady ground. If you watch the below video, you'll notice that somebody places another cone there after the hole appeared, a little late to have any beneficial effect.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  2. Perspective

    In a Pandemic, We're All 'Transit Dependent'

    Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

  3. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  4. Illustration: two roommates share a couch with a Covid-19 virus.
    Coronavirus

    For Roommates Under Coronavirus Lockdown, There Are a Lot of New Rules

    Renters in apartments and houses share more than just germs with their roommates: Life under coronavirus lockdown means negotiating new social rules.

  5. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

×