SEOUL (AFP) – Concerns about public safety standards in South Korea have been fuelled by shocking CCTV images of a young couple being swallowed up by a sinkhole that opened at their feet on the sidewalk in Seoul.
The footage, which has gone viral on social networking sites, shows the couple plunging through the paved sidewalk, shortly after alighting from a bus in the South Korean capital, as other passers-by look on in horror.
The incident happened near an apartment construction site last Friday – the end of the three-day Lunar New Year holiday.
Firefighters rescued the young man and woman who fell 10 feet (three metres). Neither of them was seriously injured and both were discharged from hospital after receiving treatment.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye vowed an overhaul of national safety standards after the Sewol ferry tragedy in April last year that claimed more than 300 lives.
In October, 16 people were killed and nine seriously injured when a ventilation grate collapsed at an outdoor pop concert in the city of Seongnam south of Seoul.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport ordered a nationwide survey of construction sites and their immediate surroundings to check for dangers like sinkholes and other subsidence.