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Sinkhole

In pictures: Van trapped after road suddenly caves in

Driver was injured in China’s Guangxi Province after his van dropped into a sudden sinkhole.

A DRIVER IN CHINA has been injured after a sinkhole opened up beneath his van as he was driving the vehicle.

Local reports say that the road in Guilin in Guangxi Province caved in on Tuesday morning after a period of heavy rainfall. Photos from the scene show the van trapped in an isolated hole in the road:

In pictures: Van trapped after road suddenly caves in
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  • Road cave-in

    A van is trapped in a hole after a cave-in happened at Fuxing road in Guilin, Guangxi Province. (Photo by He Zhiqin/ChinaFotoPress/PA)
  • Road cave-in

    Efforts to remove the vehicle get underway. (Photo by He Zhiqin/ChinaFotoPress/PA)
  • Road cave-in

    The cave-in occurred on Tuesday morning after long-term rainfall, injuring the driver. (Photo by He Zhiqin/ChinaFotoPress/PA)

In late April, a young woman was dramatically rescued by a passer-by after she fell into a sinkhole that suddenly opened up beneath her as she walked along a street in Xi’an, China. A passing taxi driver saw her disappear into the hole, stopped his vehicle and climbed in to find her. She appeared dazed but otherwise unhurt after the ordeal.

According to the US Geological Survey, sinkholes can occur naturally in areas where the rock below the land surface is soft and susceptible to erosion. Spaces develop underground as the rock dissolves and when the land above no longer has sufficient support to stay up, it drops suddenly, forming a sinkhole.

The USGS says that sinkholes have also been linked to land-use practices such as construction or water pumping, when water drainage patterns are changed.

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