Sink hole sucks in shops in China

Last updated 09:46 30/01/2013
Fairfax Australia

Buildings have collapsed into a sinkhole in southern China cutting off power and water pipes to surrounding properties.

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Construction workers digging an underground rail tunnel were lucky to avoid injury after a sink hole swallowed two buildings in southern China.

The collapse, in central Guangzhou, the capital of Guandong province, happened late on Monday afternoon after rail workers noticed nearby land was sinking.

The workers raised the alarm and evacuated 300 people who then watched as the first building fell into the hole. A second building toppled in some time later. It is believed the complex contained shops.

The Shanghaiist website reported that "deafening noises" could be heard as the ground continued to sink and crack.

No one was injured and crews working to fix the hole - about 10 metres deep and spanning about 100 square metres, filled it with concrete - Xinhua news agency reported.

Last August, a freeway in Heilongjang province, in north-east China, collapsed just 10 months after it was constructed - the sixth major bridge collapse since July 2011.

A month later, 19 people were killed when an elevator crashed 30 floors down a building site in central Hubei province.

The frequent infrastructure disasters in China have sparked concerns about lax construction safety standards as the government races to build new projects to cope with a growing population.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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