Four people have fallen into a gaping hole measuring an area of nearly 21.5 sq ft outside a local hospital in Dazhou city, Sichuan Province, China, on Sunday.
Two victims, a newlywed couple, were extracted Monday. The first victim was located at just after midnight on Monday, roughly 10 hours after the incident occurred. The second person was discovered some nine hours later. Another two, a father and son, were pulled Tuesday, in the afternoon, from nearly nine metres (30 feet) below the ground. The couple just got married a on October 3. They were heading towards the train station from a supermarket when the pavement below them suddenly collapsed. The search operation was extremely difficult and dangerous. A second collapse around the same spot sent a cascade of concrete into the pit while the rescuers were still inside it. Dozens of firefighters were involved in the operation and authorities had evacuated hundreds of buildings. Officials still have not disclosed what caused the deadly sinkhole.
"The biggest difficulty is that the road surface is thick with a large amount of soil," Gao Mingyue, an official at the fire service told to media. Electric wires and gas pipelines underground had slowed more the rescue efforts. Footage of the sinkhole swallowing pedestrians has been shared online.