china ground title

You know that phrase people sometimes use in times of great embarrassment when they wish they could disappear or the ground would just swallow them up? It turns out it’s not so great when that actually happens in real life.

Caught on camera from several angles, footage of an incident that occurred in Guangdong, China this week shows a wide stretch of pavement collapse in on itself at the precise moment a pedestrian was walking by. With no hint of warning, the ground beneath the man’s feet him suddenly disappears, swallowing him up and leaving nothing but an enormous gaping hole.

Occurring at approximately 5 p.m. on Tuesday this week, the 8 by 5-metre (26 by 16ft) stretch of pavement collapsed as a 25-year-old man walked across it. The man, who is believed to have worked in the area as a security guard, was killed in the incident.

Take a look at these videos which show the incident as it happened. In the first, we can clearly see the security guard walking in front of the camera carrying a blue umbrella a split second before the camera starts to shake and the ground disappears. Within the space of just two seconds, the road beneath the man’s feet went from seemingly solid footing to a 10-metre-deep pit, giving him no chance to react or try to escape the danger.

Although the cause of the tragic accident is still being determined, there are rumours that the pavement’s foundations had become loose following heavy rain or that a water pipe may have burst. Even so, few people would ever expect the very earth they walk on to split open and send them plummeting into the darkness below, no matter how much precipitation a region gets.

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[ Read in Japanese ]