At around 14.30 pm on Sunday a sinkhole opened up in Dazhou, Sichuan province swallowed four people killing them despite rescue effort from more than 40 firefighters. Though two of the victims who were newlyweds were pulled out and rushed to the hospital, state media reported that they soon passed away after they arrived for treatment. Rescue team were also unsuccessful on rescuing the other two victims, a father and his son who were completely swallowed up by the sinking pavement and was found dead on Tuesday afternoon. It was not possible for the rescuers equipment to reach the father and son who were believed to be trapped about 10 meters underground.
Horrific videos of the incident circling around social media shows the pavement suddenly collapsing beneath them. “The biggest difficulty is that the road surface is thick with a large amount of soil,” Gao Mingyue, a fire service official, we had to move excavators to a lower place and we now have two large excavators digging out soils so that we can stand on a lower place and use the long arm excavator to dig deeper,” a fire service official, Gao Mingyue told state broadcaster CCTV.
The area that the sinkhole collapsed also damaged high-voltage power cables and water pipes making it difficult for the rescue team to further their search for more victims. It’s also been reported the sunken-cave area is more than 10 square meters. It is believed that this sinkhole was caused from dissolving limestone or similar textured rocks beneath the soil making it no longer stable to support the weight above ground.
Mr. Mingyue also stated that “When we arrived, the caved-in area was not big, which only covered two meters both in length and depth. But during the rescue process, it collapsed again, causing another two-meter sink. Firefighters at once evacuated while doing the rescue work.”