A Japan sinkhole collapsed in the heart of one of Japan’s major cities on Tuesday, swallowing a large section of street and threatening nearby buildings.
The gigantic sinkhole appeared in the city of Fukuoka where work was being done to extend an underground subway tunnel, CNN reported. It started off as two smaller holes that merged into one huge cavity that’s about 27 meters (88 feet) wide, 30 meters (98 feet) long and 15 meters (50 feet) deep, the network noted. The hole is filled with water from sewage pipes that were destroyed by the collapse.
The massive collapse cut off power, water and gas supplies in parts of the city, according to The New York Daily News.
As the sinkhole formed, stoplights and sidewalks sunk more than 10 meters (32 feet) into the ground, Reuters reported, per The Huffington Post.
Residents near the area were evacuated, and five major roads were blocked off in Fukuoka’s business district as a result.
“All pedestrians avoid this area,” a policeman said, according to Reuters. “We are checking for gas leaks, so please don’t light your cigarettes.”
There were no injuries reported at the scene, but several commercial buildings dangerously remained at the edge of the abyss as it continued to expand.
According to The Daily News, Fukuoka officials said the cause of the collapse is under investigation, but could be linked to the subway tunnel construction.
“An accident like this is unheard of, one that should not have happened,” Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima said, per The Daily News. “We must prevent secondary accidents, and will do our utmost to restore important infrastructure.”
This isn’t the first time a sinkhole has occurred in Fukuoka. In 2014, the Japanese city experienced a smaller sinkhole that also took place near subway construction, The Daily News noted.
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