Massive sinkhole swallows part of a major intersection in Japan

The incident occurred in the southern city of Fukuoka

Massive sinkhole swallows part of a major intersection in Japan

Image: Google Maps

Part of a busy five-lane road was swallowed by a giant sinkhole in the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka on Monday. 

The hole, roughly 30 metres hole wide, began to fall in on itself early Monday morning local time.

Fukuoka is the largest city on the island of Kyushu and is a major connection point for many of the high speed trains which travel throughout the country. 

City officials are suggesting work on the nearby underground system may have contributed to the situation.

Speaking to local broadcaster NHK a witness said: "It was a bit dark outside, and my first impression was, 'Is the road really falling?'" 

"When I saw it, two holes were already there, and they continued to grow bigger."

"I got scared the most when a traffic light fell at an intersection close to where I was standing. I felt, 'I have to get out of here," he added.

There have been no serious injuries reported so far but there has been structural damage to power, gas and water facilities. 

Speaking at a press conference,Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima said: "We believe the subway construction had some impact."

"A thorough investigation will be carried out," he added.