A driver escaped unhurt after he tried to drive across a frozen river in northeastern China only for the ice to crack. The man’s SUV started sinking into the icy Songhua River in Harbin, Heilongjiang province on Saturday, local newspaper Modern Evening Times reported. Photos and videos taken by passers-by showed how the front end of the blue vehicle and its front wheels had completely sunk into the river, while its rear end remained in the air. Winter freeze comes early to China’s Yellow River A witness was quoted as saying that the vehicle was crossing the icy river when the ice suddenly cracked. Harbin police said they went to the scene on Saturday afternoon after receiving witness reports, but found no one inside the vehicle. When the owner was contacted, he said he was driving the SUV at the time of the accident and had managed to climb out after it plunged into the river, according to the report. He did not explain why he had decided to try to cross the river rather than using a nearby bridge. Move to clean energy leaves Chinese pupils out in the cold winter All vehicles and people had been banned from going onto the Songhua River after it froze this winter. Police said they were investigating the incident but did not say whether the vehicle had been retrieved from the river or whether any action would be taken against the driver.