Teen girl falls through massive unseen sidewalk sinkhole in China

Cab driver climbs down to rescue girl from six-metre deep pit

A teenage girl walking along a sidewalk in China fell six metres into a sinkhole after the seemingly normal section of pavement collapsed right under her feet.

She was talking on her phone, but that distraction can't be blamed for this unknown weak section of sidewalk in Xi'an, the capital of the China's northwest Shaanxi Province.

Luckily, a taxi driver named Wang Wei saw the girl fall, stopped his cab in the middle of the street and jumped out to help.

"I called out to her and she didn't respond," said the cab driver and Good Samaritan in the video above. Wei then climbed into the pit. "After I shook her a little she came to."

Firefighters arrived on scene and lowered a ladder into the narrow pit.

Wei told local media the girl seemed scared because the ladder didn't seem stable so he said he'd protect her as she climbed up.

The hole was caused by underground water eroding the ground, causing a cavity under the pavement. Therefore there was not enough earth under that section of sidewalk and the pavement was not strong enough to support her weight.

Water moving underground is a similar reason for the creation of many sinkholes, including some big ones in Canada.

Last month, one opened up on a major Saskatoon road that was large enough to drive a car into. It was caused by a break in a pipe under the road that caused water to swirl beneath the asphalt and erode the dirt.

In November, a 30-metre long one opened up in the Toronto area on Bayview Ave. north of Steeles Ave. closing the street for a week. In September, a 10-metre long hole opened up near Woodbine and Steeles avenues also in the Toronto area closing part of the road for some time. And in Vancouver, a sinkhole swallowed a 14-metre long chuck of SE Marine Drive. The two Toronto sinkholes were caused by water main breaks and the Vancouver one is believed to be a result of the same thing.

The accident in China actually happened on March 25, but the video was just uploaded Monday and started making the rounds.

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