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Collapsing road kills 9; boy seen saving baby

By HOU LIQIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-15 08:53
Rescuers using a crane to extract a bus from a sinkhole in Xining, Qinghai province, on Jan 13, 2020. [Photo/China News Service]

The sudden collapse of a road into a sinkhole in Xining, Qinghai province, on Monday killed nine people, authorities said.

The incident occurred at around 5:30 pm near a bus stop on Nandajie Street. Sixteen people were injured and were sent to the hospital. All are in stable condition, according to the city's emergency management bureau.

Online videos show people at the bus stop running from the collapsing road as a bus fell in. A boy was seen rescuing an infant from the edge of the hole and carrying the baby to safety.

Then the boy returned to the hole to save others, but a second collapse caused him to fall in. Yellow smoke arose from the hole after an explosion.

The video of the boy went viral on the internet, with many netizens moved by his courage and worried about his safety.

The boy was seen getting into an ambulance in another video, accompanied by an adult. His clothes, which were black, had been yellowed. Local authorities confirmed in an interview with news website ThePaper.cn that the boy was safe.

An investigation into the collapse is underway. Local authorities said at a news conference that more than 1,000 rescuers participated in the effort to save people.

The Ministry of Emergency Management has dispatched a team to Xining for rescue and investigation, the ministry said in a news release. It also urged governments to roll out corrective measures to prevent road collapses in urban areas.

It was not the first time a deadly road collapse has made headlines in China. In February 2018, a road collapsed in Foshan, Guangdong province, claiming 11 lives. About 30 meters of the road sank about 6 meters.

That collapse was caused by flooding at a nearby subway construction site, according to the Work Safety Committee of the State Council.

In 2016, three people fell into a huge sinkhole in Zhengzhou, Henan province, and one of them died. The collapse was triggered by broken water pipes beneath the surface during heavy rain.

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