A surveillance camera catches the moment an unsuspecting girl falls through a sidewalk while walking down a street in northern China. The pavement caved in under the teenager's weight as soon as she stepped onto a section of the walkway. What followed was a dramatic rescue attempt by a passing taxi driver. His heroic actions were also filmed by close circuit television and on mobile phones.
The passing cab driver stopped immediately at the scene and climbed into the six-metre deep pit to help the girl. "I called out to her but she didn't respond. After I shook her a little, she came to," said Wang Wei, a taxi driver in the northern city of Xi'an. Wang 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. Underground water had eroded the ground under the road and caused a cavity under the pavement. The ground in the pit continued to shift while the cab driver and the girl were still in it, which made it impossible for them to climb out until firefighters extended a ladder in to help them.
"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. Amateur footage showed the pair emerging from the hole and being pulled to safety with the help of fire fighters and passers-by.