Sinkhole swallows man, motorbikes in northern Vietnam

By Minh Cuong   April 6, 2018 | 09:07 pm PT
Sinkhole swallows man, motorbikes in northern Vietnam
Dirt is used to fill up a sinkhole in Quang Ninh Province. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong
'We’ve never seen anything like this.'

A sinkhole induced panic after it swallowed a man, an excavator and two motorbikes in the northern province of Quang Ninh on Thursday.

Hoang Quoc Hoan, 31, said he just stepped onto the sidewalk in front of his rent house when the sinkhole appeared and engulfed him.

"The moment my foot touched the ground, it collapsed, plunging me into the depth along with the rubbles and two motorbikes," Hoan said. "My arm hurt a bit."

A 60-year-old neighbor said she heard a loud noise at around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

"When I ran out to check, I saw a deep sinkhole in front of the house, with the man and two motorbikes down there," she said.

Hoan was rescued by his neighbors with ropes and ladders. An excavator was sent to seal the hole but also fell down as it kept expanding to more than 100 square meters.

The incident shook the entire neighborhood.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said a 30-year-old man.

The sinkhole was filled up on Friday morning. Local authorities have since put up a warning sign around the site.

Experts said a sinkhole often occurs when soil, dirt and sand get carried away by underground currents, creating a void under the surface. Once it grows large enough, the ground collapses, resulting in a sinkhole.

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