US$750,000 Rolls-Royce swallowed up after sinkhole suddenly appears in Chinese street

Ground gave way as Phantom’s driver was waiting at traffic lights

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 October, 2017, 1:24pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 October, 2017, 3:54pm

A Rolls-Royce plunged headlong into a sinkhole on a street in northeastern China on Sunday when the road beneath it suddenly collapsed.

The brown Phantom was left stuck headfirst in a hole about three metres in diameter in a street in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.

The incident was captured in a video that was circulated on social media after being posted on the Chinese streaming site Pear Video.

“I was waiting at the traffic light here and was just about to start the car at the turn of the green light when the road suddenly caved in,” the owner of the car said in the video.

The car had cost him over 5 million yuan (just over US$750,000), he said.

He did not appear to have sustained any injuries in the incident.

Tales of sinkholes suddenly opening up in the streets and swallowing passing vehicles or pedestrians have often made headlines in China.

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Many have blamed the poor quality of the roads for the phenomenon – often pointing to the widespread corruption that afflicts construction projects.

In August, half a carriageway collapsed in the downtown of a city in southwestern Guangxi province, giving way to a sinkhole big enough to swallow a truck.

A man riding a scooter fell right into it – reportedly because he was too busy checking his mobile phone.

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He suffered slight injuries and climbed out of the hole soon after.

In June, a massive sinkhole appeared on a street after days of heavy downpours in eastern Jiangsu province, swallowing a minivan and a tree on the side of the road.