Ground Collapses Near Guangzhou Metro Construction Site

The scene of the land subsidence.

From QQ:

Land Subsidence Suddenly Happens in Guangzhou Downtown, Houses Fall into “Sinkhole”

2013 January 28, at around 4pm, the ground collapsed next to the Kangwang Road subway station construction site in Guangzhou’s Lizhiwan district, causing the dilapidated buildings and stores by the road to immediately fall in and collapsing five shops. At around 9pm that night, the ground at the scene of the land subsidence collapsed a second time.

The scene of the land subsidence.

The ground next to a metro station construction site on Kangwangnan Road collapsed, the area of the land subsidence being approximately 50㎡, with a depth of about 9 meters. Currently, firefighters are doing their best to searching to rescue those trapped.

The scene of the land subsidence.

A reporter at the scene claimed the subsidence situation may get worse. At a distance of 20 meters from where the ground gave way, he could clearly hear the sound of cracking, and the cracks on the ground were continuing to spread. The police and the fire department are currently requesting residents of nearby buildings to evacuate immediately.

The onlookers at the scene.

This picture is of the crowd of onlookers.

The scene of the land subsidence.

The area of the collapse was about 50㎡, with a depth of about 9 meters.

The scene of the land subsidence.

This picture is of the scene of the subsidence. Source: ImagineChina

The scene of the land subsidence.

Comments from QQ:

腾讯宁波市网友 ⒉個魜嘚咏逺:

Did anyone die? How many dead? Again it is not reported. Was there any rescue? I don’t see any firefighters, only several cement trucks pouring cement. What’s the reason for burying the scene in such a hurry?

腾讯网友 大别山旭:

Brothers: Are you still unable to see? What sinkhole? These are all man-made accidents. I told you to demolish it, but wouldn’t demolish. So I made you sink into the ground, how convenient. On the surface, I was trying to convince you to relocate, but secretly I was digging out your foundation. See, as soon as you sink, I fill the hole. You can go on and dream about how much money for per square meter you want now. The property developer’s IQ is so high. That’s why they are called property developers. They are always “developing”.

腾讯南宁市网友 v1:

Living in China, you can witness wonders everyday…

腾讯天津市网友 XX/zhd:

Is the danger completely eliminated?? How can they already be filling it [with cement], motherfucking, what use is it if you don’t first clear/clean [the hole]??? Trying to bury/cover up something? We should buy the top floor [of a building] in the future, so when something like this happens in the future, you’ll be the first floor.

腾讯网友 飘过:

It really may have been the people tasked with forcing demolitions digging a hole in the ground. Yet another clever strategy.

腾讯网友 ︶ㄣ閻飛: (responding to above)

I think so too. Simulate a natural disaster, and then only spend a little money to get it done [successfully removing residents and demolition the old building].

腾讯吉林省网友 Ava:

It seems that we should return to living in trees like in the ancient times, so that the safety level could be higher. Throughout history, beginning from the day we had cities, we seemed to have said goodbye to the forest. With the changes over time, the scale of urbanization has increased, especially in this day and age, with skyscrapers and high-rises everywhere, having almost separated the earth and the sky with concrete and bricks. I personally think the earth also needs to breathe, and when it has been suffocated past her limit, she will get sick.

腾讯广州市网友 枫:

Subways, subways. You dig empty the ground but your construction quality can’t keep up, so it’s strange when something happens~

腾讯广州市网友 70660102:

Right next to it is the Culture Park Metro Station that’s still under construction. It’s almost the Spring Festival Holiday, hope no one was hurt.

腾讯网友 远方:

Several incidents like this also happened in Harbin not long ago. More and more things like this are happening. Better hurry and evacuate the cities.

Comments from NetEase:

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蒋公我恨你 [网易江苏省淮安市手机网友]:

I used to believe that Chairman Mao led the Eighth Route Army to defeat the Japanese invaders, winning independence for our nation.
Later I discovered that it was the blood-soaked brave fighting of the Nationalist army with the help of America that defeated the Japanese army.
I used to believe that the Red Army’s Long March to northern Shaanxi was to fight the Japanese.
Later I discovered that there weren’t any Japanese army in northern Shaanxi at all, and that the Red Army went there to escape with their lives.
I used to believe that the Chairman Mao-led movement of overthrowing landlords and carving up their land was to rid the people of evil.
Later I discovered that most of the landlords’ earned their possessions through hard work, and that they suffered appalling abuse.
I used to believe that the Great Famine in the 60s was the result of a natural disasters and the Soviet Union forcing us to pay back debt.
Later I discovered that during those years it was good weather for the crops, that it was caused by Mao’s “Catch up with the British and overtake the US” movement and the Great Leap Forward.
I used to believe that the voluntary army that joined the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea was to defend our country.
Later I discovered that the U.S. Army’s intention wasn’t to invade China, but to strike at the aggressor Kim Il-sung.
I used to believe the deeds of Kong Fansen, Jiao yulu, and Lei Feng.
Later I discovered that they were just established examples/role-models.
I used to believe that Huang Shiren oppressed the White Haired Girl.
Later I discovered that it was just a fictional story.
I used to believe Zhu De’s carrying pole. [It’s said that Zhu De used a carrying pole to carry food for the soldiers.]
Later I discovered that the carrying pole belonged to Lin Biao.
I used to believe that officials are the people’s servants, serve the people with their heart and soul.
Later I discover that it was only a cloth to cover up their corruption.
I used to believe that the people of the extremely evil capitalist countries were indifferent, only money was supreme.
Later I discovered that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett donated all their assets to charity.
I used to believe the USA’s presidential election was a game of the rich.
Later I discovered that the son of a poor African immigrant could also through hard work become the President of the United States.
I used to believe the Defensive Counterattack Against Vietnam was in self-defense.
Later I discovered it was an invasion of Vietnam, because Vietnam had topped the Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, a red evil Cambodian group that killed a quarter of its country’s population.
I used to believe that wumao hated America.
Later I discovered that the hero they bragged about had run into an American embassy for refuge.
I used to believe the American people lived in an abyss of extreme misery and suffering.
Later I discovered that the rich and the powerful [of China] have all immigrated there.
I used to believe that NPC representatives were of the people, representing the people’s will.
Later I discovered that most of them were from the billionaire club.
I used to believe that the U.S. invaded Iraq for their oil.
Later I discovered that the biggest oil field contract in Iraq was taken by Sinopec.
I used to believe that the people of Iraq supported Saddam Hussein, because every time he got 100% percentage of the vote.
Later I discovered that his statue was toppled by the people the second day he was overthrown.
I used to believe that the people of the German Democratic Republic were masters of their country.
Later I discovered that they would risk a rain of bullets to run to Federal Germany.
I used to believe that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was a country of democracy.
Later I discovered that it was the most tyrannical country on this planet.

When I discovered these truths, I was shocked. I’ve been living in lies all this time!

临走前带上猿类a无遗憾 [网易广东省广州市网友]: (responding to above)

Read it all sentence by sentence… damn, if I had a gun… I’d take it up.

网易江苏省连云港市网友 218.92.*.*: (responding to 蒋公我恨你)

Louzhu, you’re childish and naive. Since you don’t want to stay in China, leave then! But for someone as childish and naive as you, an European or American visa would never be approved. An African one would still be possible, but do you have the courage to go there?

tx2008jtl [网易浙江省杭州市网友]: (responding to above)

Once again conflating different issues, so let me give you a lesson: Country ≠ political party, country ≠ the government, love the country ≠ love the government, the government = a housekeeper employed by the country. People criticizing the government is because they have hope in the government, just like when you criticize the property management of your community, because you hope they will do a better job. Would it make sense for property management to ask a resident to move out the moment the resident pens his mouth to criticize? What kind of thuggish logic is this?

小强大佬 [网易广东省东莞市网友]: (responding to 218.92.*.*)

There are really so many JB who take money to post [alluding to the 50 Cent Party], telling people to get out of the country, as if this country belongs to them, what kind of SB logic is this? The country is not one man’s country, what right do you have to ask other people to give up their homes!!

清风泛舟 [网易广东省佛山市网友]:

A collapse at 4pm in the afternoon. Although I know it’s unlikely, I still very much hope there were zero casualties!
Bless and protect each and every precious life, let’s pray together! …

芙小小仙 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

Amitabha! Please no casualties! Even with the terrible accident in Brazil, the scene and news weren’t sealed off/censored, but this is sealed-off censored immediately! Living in the Heavenly Kingdom sure is difficult!

宇宙和谐委员会 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

The sky falls and the ground collapses… Spring is coming…

长城先生 [网易浙江省宁波市网友]:

This is 30% natural disaster, 70% man-made. In this society, it’s not safe wherever you hide.

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  • 蒋公我恨你’s comment was dope.

    • mr.wiener

      Tru dat.

    • linette lee

      Matt, are you Chinese?

      • Half.

        • linette lee

          half chinese and half what?

          • European Jewish (Ashkenazim).

          • linette lee

            I see. Ukraine. Half chinese half jew. A Jewnese. :)

          • YourSupremeCommander

            No, he’s a Chew.

          • Gay Azn Boi

            Sorry I have to bring this up but there’s this 1/2 Chinese 1/2 Jew guy in my class and he’s so hot.

          • YourSupremeCommander

            Come on son, you have to tell the whole world about your obsession with me, right!?

          • Gay Azn Boi

            Hmm. Show us a pic :)

    • filabusta

      So is 腾讯网友 大别山旭’s. I had to look back to see it again. What’s with all of the cement trucks.

      • loki

        Take a good look at picture 1 of 7 .. they are filling the hole up . with cement. Wonder what they are hiding? Metro 30 feet away? I have seem them dig tunnels in the middle of beijing(corner of xindong lu and dongzhimen) under sidewalks and down the street with buckets and wheelbarrels.

    • thmswhnr

      What’s the relevance in the context, though? Even the comments to the effect of “if we can’t address [this problem] how are we ever going to take back the Diayudao” that appear in most discussions have some loose connection to the actual content of the post. I don’t even see an attempt to connect this litany of evident truths to the sinkhole.

  • BiggJ

    Chinese trying to dig their way to America again…..

    • Bugs Bunny

      go die!

      • hess


    • Linux Guy

      That was a good one !

  • ah truly horrible. hope no one was killed.

  • vincent

    Where are the emergency services? Are people trapped? Like Matt asked what’s with all these cement trucks? This better not be a repeat of how the Wenzhou incident was handled.

    • thmswhnr

      My guess is that the cement trucks can be attributed to the nearby metro station under construction. What they’re actually being used for, it’s difficult to tell.

      • dejing

        They are for stabilizing and filling the hole, as can be seen in the last picture. Although here in Germany, they usually use sand in such cases.

  • All wrong. For a cS article this title is incorrect, and as such, no one can understand it. It should read as:

    “The Differences Between Chinese Holes and Foreign Holes”

  • Jose

    Seriously, why does all the crazy stuff seem to happen in Guangzhou???


    This story is also on the US Yahoo page. Looking at the Yahoo comments, seems like China bashing is en vogue around the world (or at least the Western world)

    • mr.wiener

      They better get used to it. Welcome to the major League China.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Well they’ll have to get used to it. It comes with being successful. Look at the flak America takes.


        Agreed, the more flak you take, the closer you are to the target.

  • Brett

    At least no one fell into scalding water… That we heard of anyways.

  • Slob

    Must have been because of a temporary worker.

    Let’s blame him.

  • Observer

    Some very interesting comments here. Glad to here people realize that you can love your country without loving it’s leaders. “蒋公我恨你”s comments backed by “tx2008jtl”s rational response.

  • dejing

    Thank god such things never happen here in Germany.

  • monmon

    I feel as though the comments are getting increasingly aware and critical, able to see the big picture.

    Is that overly optimistic?

  • A J

    You die you pet eating baby killing country… You all must DIE

  • rollin wit 9’s

    Why wasn’t the title –> Ground collapses in Guangzhou. Poor construction or overloaded buildings?

    • linette lee

      “overloaded buildings” should be the title of this article. Darn those chinese overloaded the building now it collapse. There is a weight limit you know. That is how the chinese officials will write it up.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Not sure about the part of 蒋公我恨你’s comment on the wumao’s hero.

    Who is he talking about?

  • Hmmm

    Why is Chinese construction such poor quality? This corruption makes it so embarrassing to be Chinese. And why can’t China build quality sustainable buildings isn’t that true benefit for the people and not for economic profit. If you follow the Western economic model, you are doomed to kill the planet.

    • piratebill

      Why is construction so poor? CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP
      all anyone thinks of in china is cheaper! that is why.

  • Terri

    I’m getting chills reading 蒋公我恨你’ comment. And the responses! If more people thought like that, China would really be able to get it’s shit together. The need to tell these leaders that they aren’t going to take the government’s bullshit anymore.

  • Easiest way for government and land mafia to get land from poor people.

  • ralphrepo

    An interesting article found in the open journal, ‘Sensors’; by the Institute of Space & Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, in 2008, entitled, ‘A Study of Ground Deformation in the Guangzhou Urban Area with Persistent Scatterer Interferometry’ is available here:

    Though the thrust of the article is intended as a discourse on measurement methodology, much of the information revealed is also relevant to this building collapse discussion. In it the authors write, “…local geological conditions, such as limestone Karst geomorphology as well as silt layers characterized by high water content, high void ratio, high compressibility, low bearing capacity and low shear strength, and underground engineering projects are responsible for ground subsidence and ground collapse accidents occurred there.” The article is rather wordy and wholly technical, but informative as to the geologic conditions which may impact structure integrity within the Guangzhou region. Seriously interested parties should take the time to read the article in it’s entirety.

    That said, I noticed also, from the various YouTube videos that showed the collapse sequence, that these buildings seem to be only of wood, mortar and brick construct, which is suggestive of older origins. Additionally, as mentioned by one of the readers, was the almost immediate consideration and use of cement pumpers, instead of sand for void negation. This leads me to suspect that the relevant authorities were likely fearful of the imminent collapse of adjoining structures. Concrete, once effectively hardened, provides much greater load bearing strength and, initially as a liquid, can rapidly fill void space, including overflowing obstacles; something that granular substances like sand is unable to do.

    Subsidence events, or more commonly, “Sink Holes” are indeed frightening, especially so in alluvial areas where soil content is made all the more mobile by the aggregate impact of man’s activity. Given Guangzhou’s geography, climate and economic status, I fear that these events will become ever more routine rather than the exception.

    Politically however, what is interesting too is the almost knee jerk reflex of netizens, both from China and abroad, to automatically suspect corruption as contributory in some way to this event.

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