Inquiry ordered after series of sinkholes suddenly open up in Chinese city

Six road and pavement collapses reported in three days in Lanzhou, Gansu province

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2016, 2:27pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2016, 2:45pm

A city in northern China has ordered an investigation after a series of roads and pavements partially collapsed in a matter of days, according to media reports.

Six incidents were reported in Lanzhou in Gansu province from Tuesday to Thursday last week, the Lanzhou Evening News reported.

In one incident on Tuesday last week, a sinkhole 10 metres long, five metres wide and two metres deep opened up in a pavement near Zhangye Road in Lanzhou.

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Two people were rescued and sent to hospital for treatment, the newspaper said.

Two days later, the back of a bus fell into a hole, parts of which were five meters deep, on a main road.

Lin Duo, the governor of Gansu, has instructed the government to find out the cause of the sinkholes, according to the article.

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Experts told the news website that the problem was probably created by workers not backfilling properly after pipes were laid.

Leaks from the pipes had also probably made the ground unstable, they said.

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There was a further collapse on Tuesday morning in the city when a hole appeared in the street by the gates of the provincial government building, the Lanzhou Morning Post reported.