Sinkhole in Shenzhen During Rush Hour, 5 Buried Alive

The rescuing personnel at the scene.

The rescuing personnel at the scene.

From QQ:

Shenzhen Road Surface Suddenly Collapses, Multiple People Fall In & Buried

2013 May 21 report, this reporter learned in the morning that on the night of the 20th at about 9pm, subsidence occurred in front of the Shenzhen Henggang Huamao Industrial Park, and a sinkhole appeared, visually estimated to be 10 meters wide with a depth of at least 2 meters. According to nearby local residents, it occurred just as it was the afternoon rush hour, and 4 to 5 people had been seen falling into the hole, amongst whom one was able to climb out by himself. As of 4pm on the 21st, the remains of buried people have been found at the scene of the cave-in (identities awaiting verification).

The scene of the incident.

This reporter hurried to the scene of the incident to get more information, with regards to just how many people were buried in the hole, and what the casualties were. The personnel on the scene were were not forthright in their responses. As it is understood, the Huamao Industrial Park where the incident happened is located between Shuiguan Freeway and Hongmian Road, which is currently being widened. And this area is a hilly land.

Family members of the deceased are devastated.

The scene of the incident.

On-lookers and the police at the scene.

2013 May 21 morning, a Shenzhen road surface suddenly collapsed, the scene of the incident.

Comments from QQ:

腾讯网友 QQ:

These days, if you stay at home, you can’t escape earthquakes. If you take an elevator, and aren’t careful, you’ll step into an empty elevator shaft. If you ride a bicycle, you’ll fear getting hit by a car. Nowadays even when you’re just walking on the road, it doesn’t feel safe. How are people supposed to live?

腾讯河池市网友 小蛮□゛妖:

Ever since the girl in Changsha fell down a manhole cover, I keep my distance from the manhole covers when I walk on the street, deathly afraid I may step on a flimsy manhole cover and fall in! Now something like this happens, talk about not being able to avoid danger [wherever you go]! Better cherish every single day you have!

腾讯深圳市网友 smile慢羊羊:

Don’t know which unlucky bicycle was too heavy and made the road collapse this time!!!

腾讯阳江市网友 大头:

It is because of consecutive days of rain causing the soil to loosen that caused this unfortunate incident… the official response…

腾讯广东省网友 24K 纯帅:

The Heavenly Kingdom, the Heavenly Kingdom, one can just be walking and then suddenly disappear [die].

腾讯网友 空城少年 °:

The excessive exploitation of underground water has caused sinkholes to happen frequently in recent years. The Earth can’t hold out much longer!

腾讯网友 ゝ浮生若梦:

It’s caused by excessive extraction of underground water. There’s nothing that can be done about it, there are simply too many people in China. Rivers and lakes are too severely polluted to be drinkable so we can only extract underground water, and incidents like this will continue to happen frequently in the future.

腾讯网友 守望幸福:

Live one day at a time!

腾讯网友 that´s□why:

The Shenzhen Economic Zone should change its name into Sichuan Basin.

腾讯深圳市网友 々冲浪网事℃:

They are also building a subway in Xili, all sorts of fears.

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Basic necessities of life have all become dangerous. My Chinese dream.


The trending 3D road-painting—becomes real.[疑问]


This is no longer news! Which city hasn’t had it’s ground dug empty now?! The usage of underground space!


Every step is a thrill~~


In this society you can’t even die in peace.


Born accidentally, die randomly~


These are sinkholes, and are caused by many factors: underground water, construction, the force of the universe. It’s also the Earth slowly heading to its doom…


Ever since I came to Shenzhen, one after another there the wall surrounding a construction site collapsed and crushed people, the ground in a neighborhood community collapsed and buried people, an escalator collapsed and crushed people, an elevator suddenly dropped and beheaded a person, a security guard fell from a building after trying to climb into a window to get keys for the homeowner, and the 10-meter wide road surface collapse yesterday. Just living, is a difficulty.


9pm and still peak traffic time [rush hour].


The road of Marxism.

The following was translated by Bing:

From IFeng:

Shenzhen: Road Sinkhole Measuring 12 Meters Wide, 4 Meters Deep Kills 5

The rescuing personnel at the scene.

The rescuing personnel at the scene.

The rescuing personnel at the scene.

The scene of the incident.

Original title: Road Cave-in Accident Updates in Shenzhen: the Fifth Victim Found

From ChinaNews, Shenzhen, May 21st (reported by Chen Wen) — On May 21st at 17:00, Yu Zhiyun, deputy director of the subdistrict Office of Shenzhen Longgang District, reported the news of “5.20”, the Huamao Industrial Park Road cave-in. Five bodies have been retrieved. The identities of four of the deceased have been verified. Search and rescue efforts are still under way.

According to a site investigation, preliminary analysis of the cause of the collapse accident suggests that it is the recent continuous rainfall, sewer erosion, and hollowed concrete pavement soil under the formation that lead to the collapse. The exact reason will be identified by a professional department after detailed investigation.

May 20th at 21:00, a road cave-in occurred in Huamao Industrial Park, Longgang District in Shenzhen. The pit measures 12 meters long, 6 meters wide and three to four meters deep.

On the night of [May] 20th, Longgang District Public Security, Fire Department, Three-Prevention Bureau, Emergency Department and other relevant departments rushed the scene for the rescue. And one wounded individual was saved. According to eye-witnesses, two people were buried in the collapse accident, but by the rescuing staff’s further survey (investigation), the number of people who had lost connection was 5. Up till 17:00 on [May] 21st, 5 bodies hadbeen found. The identities of four of the deceased had been confirmed. Search and rescue efforts are still under way.

It is understood that the subdistrict office set up seven working groups on the night of the accident including an emergency rescue group, rescue nursing group, rehabilitation group, etc. to carry out rescue and rehabilitation and also arranged the medical treatment, care and daily life management for one of the a wounded.

Comments from IFeng:

凤凰网河南省洛阳市网友 小正之风:

Fast urban development is not always good. Influx of population, large urban water consumption and industrial water usage, and the excessive extraction of groundwater made the urban underground become a funnel in some cities. There are no landslides in the city, however, one day there may be a sinkhole, sigh, where is safe?

凤凰网河南省郑州市网友 谷树人:

“Holes” appearing all of a sudden in cities in China is not a strange phenomenon. It occurs several times every year, just in different sizes. The pit in Shenzhen this time is more serious, and it occurred in the frontier city of reform. The only reason is because of underground engineering fraud. Underground engineering in Western countries is referred to as “the conscience project”. In France, Britain and other countries, the underground engineering has hundreds of years of history, it has withstood damages during the World Wars. But our projects don’t even last 20 years. [It is] a whole society of people losing face. Looking at their report, it’s even more interesting. First, leaders give out orders, then relevant departments react to an emergency. They just won’t tell us the basic reasons. No conscience.

凤凰网辽宁省葫芦岛市网友 qhdwzf123:

Shenzhen has become a deep hole. Shenzhen is so deep!!
(Note: The word for deep hole, shenkeng (深坑), sounds similar to Shenzhen (深圳).

凤凰网山东省济南市网友 缺金少火:

Unprecedented development of modern science and technology lets humans feel incredibly powerful. People think they can become the master of nature, but they don’t know when they maliciously destroy nature, nature has its own way to respond to the arrogance of mankind. Chinese people already go against the idea of the unity of nature that our grandparents followed.

凤凰网湖北省咸宁市网友 下海泡澡:

So when we are alive, we should learn to be satisfied with what we have.

凤凰网浙江省温州市网友 梧桐花落地:

Even when walking around, we face danger!

Comments from Sohu:

[搜狐浙江省嘉兴市网友] 布衣渔者:

The real killer on the road.

[搜狐陕西省宝鸡市网友] wwm56912:

Now we worry about not only what we eat, what we drink, what we breathe, but also what is under our feet. It’s so hard to live!

[搜狐江西省赣州市网友] 大漠孤烟798879:

Who is responsible for such incidents? Who will be responsible for the loss of life?

[搜狐河北省石家庄市网友] 自动档好开:

Finally, I know why people want to grow wings. Now to see it, it’s not bad even just to be a tiny littlebird that can’t fly too high. What does it matter if it can’t soar? At least it can fly and doesn’t have to worry about falling into holes.

[搜狐浙江省绍兴市网友] 痴心易碎51372738:

Damn, this really is the “path of socialism” with Chinese characteristics

The scene of the incident.

READ  Chinese Government Official Smiling at Tragic Accident Scene

Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.

  • Mighty

    Sinkholes in China are the only collapses that can’t be blamed on shoddy construction.

    • the ace of books

      But that’s because environmental damage has dibs.

      • Mighty

        Haha.. yeah!

    • lonetrey / Dan

      But isn’t civil engineering suppose to figure out this sort of stuff? Like, which areas are suitable for construction and which are unsafe? And if unsafe areas must be used, how to stabilize them?

      • Mighty

        They must have been using unreliable ‘Made in China’ equipment to survey the land.

  • Jing Li

    I don’t know what to say on this one. If I was living in China, I think I’d be pretty freaked out. This kind of news seems to be happening more and more frequently.

    • donscarletti

      China’s a huge country and sinkholes are fairly small. I think most people will be OK.

      • Jing Li

        Famous last words :) Just kidding!


      Actually I’m betting that only certain areas of the country are susceptible to sinkholes. I mainly depends on the kind of soil that’s present. I doubt all of China, or even most of China has this problem. If I were in CHina this would actually be one of the least of my worries.

      • Germandude

        Yeah. Trying to dodge the sinkholes not paying attention to the traffic seems to be what’s really going on on the streets of China.

      • Jing Li

        I guess I really should have elaborated on my comment. I was, more or less, commenting that the list of scares in mainland China seems to be increasing quite rapidly these days.

    • Harold Janson

      They happen everywhere in the world where things like “rain” occur. A simple crack in the surface, or a leaky pipe is all it takes to see the subsoil undermined resulting in eventual collapse. Happens in the US, Europe, South America, quite literally everywhere.

      • Jing Li

        Point taken, and, yes, I was aware. My comment was simply that this has become a more common story these days. I also was, more or less, referring to environmental scares in general. Having family both in ChongQing and Shanghai, I’ve noticed (through my mother, who is the person that keeps in touch with our family) that the topic of conversation has increasingly been a scare. Whether it be food, water, air, or sinkholes, it just seems to be in the Chinese news far more frequently.

  • mr.wiener

    As soon as I saw this I couldn’t help thinking of this:

  • linette lee

    Ever since the girl in Changsha fell down a manhole cover, I keep my distance from the manhole covers when I walk on the street, deathly afraid I may step on a flimsy manhole ………..

    Miss……..Manhole covers are made of iron and is NOT TO BE REMOVED from the manhole and left unattended. Some selfish fxck china folks removed the cover on purpose to improve drainage during a heavy rain storm. They simply don’t give a fxck some people or animal may fall into the deep 6meters hole and drown. Whoever removed the manhole cover deserved to fall into this sinkhole.

    • Manhole covers are removed for the purpose of stealing them; happens all the time in the west, and it looks like it happens the des Chines as well.

      If you look at some manhole covers in Chinesestan as well, you’ll notice that some of them are locked or bolted shut. The lucky ones.

      • tengu

        China and India yes, “The West” not so much.

        Calcutta, 10,000 in 2 months. Beijing, close to a quarter million stolen for scrap in 2004.

        The West … Under 300,

      • Les Battersby

        Now they are using new plastic style ones that can’t be looted and sold for scrap in the UK. Bastards still pikey everything else that can’t be locked down though.

    • Nefarious Laowei

      I’d tap that profile photo.


        I’d fight you over her.

        • linette lee

          Are you sure? Once you get me no return allowed.

          • lonetrey / Dan

            And suddenly, her profile is a cat.

            Oh well. A cat is fine too.

          • Germandude

            The cat is cute though…

          • lonetrey / Dan

            Course! it’s Limecat!

            Though, I like Grumpycat better :3

          • mr.wiener

            What no pussy joke?

          • Trolol

            her pussy is the joke

          • mr.wiener

            What are you using as a basis of comparison? The last one you probably saw was your mother’s.

          • lonetrey / Dan

            oooooooh snap. He went there.

          • Mighty

            And rang the door bell.


            Wow, you’re strict. In that case I’d have to pass on you. We can just be friends. I’m so sad now.


      What does manhole covers have to do with this sinkhole? Do you even know how sinkholes form? Linette you’re getting crazy again.

      • Harold Janson

        Listen bub, facts come from the gut, actually understanding things is so yesterday, especially when you can whine bitch and moan about nothing

      • linette lee

        me crazy? lol. You didn’t know I am on medications? I have psychosis. I talk to myself and I take multiple meds to control.
        I also sleep walk every night. that’s right. Better stay away from me. lol.

  • Trolol

    your face is a manhole cover

    • hm, that is pretty good. I shall add this to my repertoire of insult.

      • Mighty

        Add this to your repertoire. Mighty to Jin Ch’in: “Your ass is a sinkhole”.

    • I didn’t think the kids these days regarded oral as “legitimate sex”.

  • Trouse


    • HAHA, good way to control population? or just watch where you step…survival of the fitter?

    • mr.wiener

      ….under you would be a good start.

      • Trouse

        in china i forgot ….haha

    • Well, that’s another colloquial way of say “I’m headed out to the barbers”.

    • the ace of books

      …to what point and purpose, exactly?

  • Harold Janson

    Once again, idiots not understanding how sinkholes form and why. And once again Chinasmack posting pathetic drivel like it’s news.

    • BiggJ

      Chinese fact: Sinkholes are caused by american capitalism. lol

      • Germandude

        huh uhm, BiggJ, you are usually complaining that everything is blamed on ‘Murica within the first 10 posts under any random topic.
        This time, it didn’t happen before the 24th (?) post and what is even more disturbing, this time, it’s you who started it…

        Needless to say that I am shocked about this and start to believe you have switched sides. Have you been travelling to some rocky area in Afghanistan recently?

        • BiggJ

          I had end the madness. I can’t believe no one blamed this on america. I made this story complete with that comment. Also I ordered some shit off from america and it never came yet. America is on my shit list. I’m joining my chinese comrades in the struggle against america….at least until my shit get here from amazon. lol

          • Germandude

            That sounds precisely like what is written in the Al Qaeda textbook. Fight the enemy with his own weapons/goods. Don’t hesitate to use US products and services while doing so. And if during your career you are stepping up the terrorist commanding chain, you might as well switch sides if received a better offer. Life is good. At least after the Amazon delivery arrives.

          • BiggJ

            The american infidels must pay for their deceit!!..they said 3-5 days….it’s been 6….Is it a holy war they want!?! I need my new HDMI cables!

          • Germandude

            Hold on. You ordered HDMI cables from the US while you are in China? Like those are not available in China.
            Or, am I right, assuming this is just a term within your group to get messages across, like activating a terrorist, without the CIA getting suspicious?

          • BiggJ

            I’m not in china. I just woke to take a piss and then decided to smoke a joint and it kind of woke me up. So now im just kind of staring at the computer screen until i decide to back to bed. lol

          • linette lee

            ……..Also I ordered some shit off from america and it …………..

            oh…amerika…a land where you can buy plenty of cheap

            frivolous things made in China. Open it, use it,
            salvate all over it…wraps it back up into the box and still get full refund. oh….amerika….what a great land.

          • Why do we replace the “c” with a “k” whenever we criticize American consumerism and/or foreign policy?

          • BiggJ

            I blame the Kool aid man.

          • Does it work with other countries? Kanada, Khina, Kzech Republik, Ekuador, Kroatia, Kuba, Mexiko, Madagaskar…Korea

          • James

            corea cuwait cazhacstan?

          • Burcina Faso, Cyrgyzstan

          • BiggJ

            The Kool Aid man has full authority when it comes to that. If he says it alright then who are we to question it? Notice how Kool Aid is made by Kraft…who also makes Kraft dinner…which is my icon on here….and the Kool Aid man and I are both Freemasons……I’ve said too much…

          • James

            you probably think you’re the guardian of “the templar treasure hidden on oak island”

            I guess too much paraquat will do that to ya

          • Mighty

            Whatever you smoked… gimme some of dat shit.

          • Jin Ch’in

            once a potatoe queen always a potatoe queen

          • James
          • James

            German spelling, implication being totalitarianism/nazism Many also use it for criticizing internal laws. Similar to the use of amerikkka

          • Oh ok. Anyway, I gotta get back to work. Those Jews aren’t going to gas themselves.

          • James

            them jews, they’re a right uncooperative lot, aint they, by jiminy

          • They kick and scream more than the Slavs. That’s saying a lot.

          • noothernameisleft

            A long time ago, when the cold war was being fought the Soviet Union (USSR) was against America and used lot’s of propaganda from their news arm called Pravda (Truth). They would say the idiotic things, that only someone living in a backwards country with no rights to travel anywhere would believe.

            The Soviet’s spelt Amerika with a k and it became synonymous with communist hatred against the US. When making a tongue in cheek comment we will slip it in and it’s a wink to the reader that we are saying something ridiculous.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    Imagine the ground suddenly giving way underneath you. That’s pretty horrifying, actually, to suddenly find yourself buried alive when you’re on your way to work.

    There’s only so much a human being can do to stabilize the ground they walk on, so I guess this would be considered “an act of God” in terms of damage report. :/

    • Mighty

      Or an act of Godzilla.

  • Alphy

    WTH, I was just in Shenzhen. Man I was even joking with the locals when passing by a construction area for subway about sinkhole… now I feel bad.

    • Rick in China

      Go back there, you can start a cult – they’ll think you’re a visionary.

      • radbab

        …or that you’re responsible! ;)

        • Rick in China

          Shh – trying to generate more ChinaSmack content.

  • Jin Ch’in

    Sinkholes are common in China now due to all the factories draining local water rivers, lakes and dams to produce products for the western countries..they drained the soil of water which courses erosion.

    • zi_ni_ma_13

      so then who is to blame (if we must blame someone)? western consumers? the factory bosses? maybe deng xiao ping ? or just the west in general?

      pretty sure chinese use those same products, especially with the growing middle class.

      sinkholes happen everywhere, not sure you can turn this into an east vs west thing mr jin.

      • Jin Ch’in

        Just one example of how a company like Coca-cola drained local water (not just the river or lake but french drinking supplies) for every 1 ltr of coke it takes over 10ltr of water plus the water to farm the sugar etc. Each year coke produced around 1 billion liters of coke so just think all the by product waste!

        Land erosion is one of the biggest problem facing this planet which is ignored. Taking aside this issue people are not dying of dehydration due to coke which is an American company.

        • Mighty

          Your ass is a sinkhole. Your mouth is a manhole.

          • mr.wiener

            I kinda hope his arehole grows tastebuds.

          • Mighty

            Yeah, he’s been consuming food without the sense of taste.

        • zi_ni_ma_13

          pretty sure you are angry with capitalism. those companies don’t pledge loyalty to any flag, they are mercenary capitalists. they just follow the maximized profits. sadly, and i do mean sadly, china has become the capitalists wetdream.

          i agree with your anger and frustration, i share such anger. but, if america had not been that country, some other country would have been. and there would be another (or perhaps the same) fucked up economic structure imposed on the world that would benefit a few and exploit the masses.

          another good example of mercenary capitalism, the tobacco industry and southeast asia. especially indonesia……

    • Les Battersby

      by jove, my dear boy, for once you write something I absolutely agree with and cannot find fault with at all. It must be a rare day in hell.

      • Jin Ch’in

        I dunno why but i feel dirty..need a good scrubbing

        • Mighty

          People would scrub your ass clean before they’d even kick it.

        • Les Battersby

          Now dear boy, it is time to spend some of that 10,000 rmb on imported shower gel, none of that chinese herbal stuff that is for poor migrant workers and the great unwashed, hahaha.

    • Obligatory Jin Ch’in-Phil Collins reference:

      “Now I know that I’m too young
      My love has just begun
      Sussudio oh oh
      Ooh give me a chance, give me a sign
      I’ll show her anytime
      Sussudio oh oh “

      • Mighty

        Followed by:
        “So take a look at me now, There’s just an empty space..”

  • Felix

    Any where have sinkhole,We need to try learning “walk in the cloud” so that we cat’t falling in it.

  • Les Battersby

    This is what happens in a city aptly named “deep drains”. Build a city out from what was originally a fishing village (baoan) onto marshland and it’s not exactly solid foundations.

    • Mighty

      Surprisingly not many lives are lost in sinkhole incidents. I hope the 5 would be rescued alive.

      • James

        seems I remember reading a few months back about some guy in FL, sinkhole swallowed up his bedroom & him. his bro tried to go in & rescue him but eventually had to get out

  • Cauffiel

    “Every step is a thrill~~” Hilarious.