A man in China had to be taken to the hospital after he was swallowed by a giant sinkhole at his uncle’s home last week.
The man was reportedly relaxing in the lounge, preparing to have dinner, when suddenly the surface underneath him gave way and he fell into a 10-foot-deep crater.
The incident occurred in Xi'an, in the northwestern province of Shaanxi.
The South China Morning Post stated the man, who has not been identified, was later taken to the hospital for injuries, including cuts, he suffered because of broken tiles.
His uncle later told reporters he believed the crater had formed because of leakage from a pipeline that supplies water to his neighbors.
Sinkholes are a result of a natural geologic phenomenon when soft rocks such as limestone, gypsum or salt beds erode due to frequent exposure to groundwater. Although these craters form all over the world, they’re common in regions where the rock below the land surface is soluble.
However, when they form in buildings or bridges, it’s mostly because of shoddy construction.
The formation of sinkholes, the Post added, in developed areas is “becoming increasingly common” in China.
Just in August, at least two cases were reported. The first incident occurred in Zhengzhou, in the central province of Henan, where three people were sucked into a massive sinkhole that opened in a road. The second crater opened in the middle of a busy pedestrian street in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, taking in several people.
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