Sink hole sucks in shops as horrified evacuees watch

A three-storey building next door also collapses into the giant hole as bystanders watch. Photo: ITN screengrab
A three-storey building next door also collapses into the giant hole as bystanders watch. Photo: ITN screengrab
The sink hole swallows an entire building complex in Guangdong province, China. Photo: ITN screengrab

The sink hole swallows an entire building complex in Guangdong province, China. Photo: ITN screengrab

A 250-foot deep sinkhole opened up on May 31, 2010, at an intersection in Guatemala City after heavy rains. Photo: Tim Johnson/MCT

A 250-foot deep sinkhole opened up on May 31, 2010, at an intersection in Guatemala City after heavy rains. Photo: Tim Johnson/MCT

Tony Jenners watches as his car, an RAV 4, falls into a sinkhole Monday in South Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Pat Farrell/Miami Herald/MCT

Tony Jenners watches as his car, an RAV 4, falls into a sinkhole Monday in South Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Pat Farrell/Miami Herald/MCT

Residents watch as a sinkhole eats away at the green area of the Woodhill Apartment in Orlando, Florida, June 11, 2002. Photo: Jessica Mann/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Residents watch as a sinkhole eats away at the green area of the Woodhill Apartment in Orlando, Florida, June 11, 2002. Photo: Jessica Mann/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Residents watch as a sinkhole eats away at the green area of the Woodhill Apartment in Orlando, Florida, June 11, 2002. Photo: Jessica Mann/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Residents watch as a sinkhole eats away at the green area of the Woodhill Apartment in Orlando, Florida, June 11, 2002. Photo: Jessica Mann/Orlando Sentinel/MCT

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn surveys sinkhole in downtown Cairo, Illinois, on May 2, 2011. E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/MCT

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn surveys sinkhole in downtown Cairo, Illinois, on May 2, 2011. E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/MCT

Construction workers digging an underground rail tunnel were lucky to avoid injury after a sink hole swallowed two buildings in southern China.

The collapse, in central Guangzhou, the capital of Guandong province, happened late on Monday afternoon after rail workers noticed nearby land was sinking.

The workers raised the alarm and evacuated 300 people who then watched as the first building fell into the hole. A second building toppled in some time later. It is believed the complex contained shops.

The Shanghaiist website reported that "deafening noises" could be heard as the ground continued to sink and crack.

No one was injured and crews working to fix the hole - about 10 metres deep and spanning about 100 square metres, filled it with concrete - Xinhua news agency reported.