A closed-circuit television camera in China captured a nearly fatal accident involving a hapless teenaged girl. The unsuspecting girl was captured by the camera walking along a sidewalk in the northern city of Xian as she fell into an awaiting sinkhole as the pavement caved in and swallowed her up.
The girl fell into a void that extended 20 feet below the street after she stepped on a section of the sidewalk.
Fortunately, a passing taxicab stopped and the driver descended to offer help, as did another girl walking on the same route. The driver's heroic efforts to save the girl were captured by the surveillance camera, as well as the camera-equipped cellphones held by passersby.
The heroic cabbie climbed into the void to bring the girl to safety. According to the Daily Mail, "I called out to her but she didn't respond. After I shook her a little, she came to," said Wang Wei. He climbed down to the bottom of the pit clinging to a cable under the pavement. "The dirt kept showering down on us and the kid couldn't stop crying," he added.
Water had eroded the soil beneath the sidewalk, resulting in the extensive cavity. Even while the cabbie desperately sought to extract the girl, the ground in the pit and continued to shift. Thus, they were not able to emerge until a fire brigade brought a ladder to lead them out to the surface. "The ladder kept moving about, it's a little flimsy and the girl kept screaming out of fear. So I told her to go first and I'll be right behind her. Finally we managed to get out," Wang said. Firefighters and pedestrians helped the pair, finally, to safety.