Four people died swallowed by a sinkhole in Dazhou, Sichuan province, despite attempts to rescue them.
According to the national media, the hole opened up around 2.30 p.m.
Two people died after being recovered from the pit, in a local hospital.
Efforts to save the other two victims, father and son, have not been successful.
According to the authorities, the two were trapped at 10 meters depth, two meters beyond the capacity of the equipment supplied to rescuers.
The biggest problem was caused by a large amount of soil and debris. More than 40 firefighters were involved in the rescue attempt.
The causes of the collapse of the sidewalk are not yet known.
The pit covers an area of about 10 square meters.
“When we arrived,” the rescuers said, “the affected area was not very large, only a couple of meters deep and wide, but during the relief process, the area collapsed again, sinking two more meters. ”
The presence of high voltage cables and water pipes has made the operations even more complicated.