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Street sinks into earth at Pudong intersection

By Liu Sheng (Global Times)

08:28, September 25, 2012

The intersection of Jinke and Haike roads in Pudong New Area remains cordoned off for repairs Monday after part of the road caved in. (Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT)

Part of a road collapsed early Monday in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Shanghai's Pudong New Area, local media reported. No injuries were reported.

A portion of the intersection of Jinke and Haike roads collapsed into a one-meter-deep hole that was five meters long and three meters wide, according to a report on the news website xinmin.cn.

The road caved because of soil erosion, said Qi Fuhai, a representative of Chunqing Garden Engineering Company, which is in charge of the road repairs.

"This type of underground soil is quite sandy and can easily be washed away," Qi said.

Leaking underground sewage and drainage pipes were likely responsible for softening the soil underneath the road, according to the company. That portion of road had begun to sink Thursday, so the intersection had already been cordoned off Monday.

Because it takes several days for road maintenance work to get approved, the repairs didn't start until Monday afternoon and will likely take at least a week to finish, according to the xinmin.cn report.

The cave-in tied up traffic in the area during Monday's rush hours.

Although similar incidents have occurred in the city in the past, residents don't have to worry much about getting swallowed into the earth, said Xue Yadong, associate professor with the Institute of Tunnel and Underground Engineering Division No.5 at Tongji University.

"Although Shanghai's soil is soft, there won't be regular cave-ins," Xue told the Global Times Monday.

Cave-ins only occur if there is underground construction going on nearby or if an underground pipe is leaking.

Last October, a four-meter-long, five-meter-wide pit opened in the ground near the Shanghai Railway Station. No injuries were reported.

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