Sinkhole Kills Five In China

Jennifer Deutschmann - Author

Aug. 22 2013, Updated 2:01 a.m. ET

A sinkhole killed five people in China. The 10 foot wide hole formed suddenly on Monday evening in Schenzhen, China, just outside of Hong Kong. This morning, news agencies in China reported that rescue workers recovered five bodies from the hole.

The sinkhole is located near the Huamao Industrial Park. Workers from nearby factories were in the process changing shifts, when the ground suddenly fell out from under their feet.

As reported by Channel News Asia, rescue workers recovered five bodies, and saved the life of one person found inside the sinkhole. They do not not know if anyone else is trapped, but continue their investigation and search.

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The sinkhole that killed five people, may have been caused by area construction. As China has experienced a high rate of development and construction, those factors have been blamed for numerous sinkholes.

As reported by CBS News, sinkholes are usually caused by geographical features. Oftentimes, layers of porous rock, under the surface of the ground, dissolve, erode, or are washed away. As those layers dissipate, an unstable layer, called karst, forms in place of the previously stable rock layers.

Karst can be found nationwide. Some areas are particularly prone to sinkholes. Florida and Louisiana are well known for high occurrence of underground corrosion and the formation of karst.

Unfortunately a collapse of the karst, which causes a sinkhole, can happen at any time. Sinkholes have been predicted, but just as often, they are an unpleasant surprise.

Sinkholes are usually caused by natural formations, but can be the result of drilling or digging. Drilling, specifically, can weaken layers under the ground, leading to massive collapse.

A sinkhole killed five people in China, and possibly more that have not been found. Authorities have not determined what caused the sinkhole, or if it has expanded since the initial collapse.

[Image via Wikimedia]


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