Video: Shocked walker falls through pavement

Adam Parris-Long

A pedestrian had a lucky escape after falling down a 6m hole that opened up in the middle of a pavement.

The unsuspecting teenager had been talking on her mobile phone when she was suddenly swallowed up by the street in Xi’an, northern China.
Fortunately a passing taxi driver spotted the dramatic fall and quickly pulled over to help.

Driver Wang Wei climbed into the pit but was unable get out of the hole once he made contact with the girl as the earth beneath them continued to shift.

"I called out to her but she didn't respond,” said Wang Wei. “After I shook her a little, she came to. The dirt kept showering down on us and the kid couldn't stop crying”.
The pair finally managed to escape when firefighters arrived and extended a ladder to help them ascend to the surface.

“The ladder kept moving about, it's a little flimsy and the girl kept screaming out of fear,” Wang Wei said. “So I told her to go first and I'll be right behind her. Finally we managed to get out”.

The pavement is thought to have been destabilised by underground water which created a cavity just underneath the surface.