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Japanese city street swallowed by giant sinkhole

Police cordoned off the area and evacuated nearby buildings but no injuries have been reported.

PARTS OF A busy street in a Japanese city collapsed today due to a massive sinkhole.

The 30 metre hole swallowed part of a five-lane street near the main railway station in the southern city of Fukuoka.

APTOPIX Japan Sinkhole 後藤貞行 後藤貞行

Authorities say the cause of the collapse in under investigation but it’s believed construction at a nearby subway may have triggered the sinkhole.

According to local media, construction stopped when workers saw ground water washing into the site before the road began to cave in.

Japan Sinkhole AP AP

Police cordoned off the area and evacuated nearby buildings but no injuries have been reported. Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima told Associated Press:

An accident like this is unheard of, one that should not have happened.

“We must prevent secondary accidents, and will do our utmost to restore important infrastructure.” He added that a thorough investigation will be carried out.

Japan Sinkhole AP AP

A young man who saw the sinkhole develop told public broadcaster NHK, ”It was a bit dark outside, and my first impression was, ‘Is the road really falling?’”

When I saw it, two holes were already there, and they continued to grow bigger.I got scared the most when a traffic light fell at an intersection close to where I was standing. I felt, ‘I have to get out of here’.

Japan Sinkhole AP AP

The hole is full of water from broken pipes.

Japan Sinkhole AP AP

Additional reporting by AP and AFP.

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