Construction of Shenzhen’s Qianhai New District, an upcoming commercial hub hailed as the city’s equivalent to Hong Kong’s Central, suffered a setback when the site’s foundations collapsed due to land subsidence.

Shenzhen Qianhai
Shenzhen Qianhai construction foundation collapse. Photo: D100.

The foundation failure extended for over one minute as dramatic video showed workers retreating from the construction site. Workers were also heard shouting “its over, its over” repeatedly as the scene unfolded. No injuries were reported.

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Posted by D100 一呼百應 還聲於民 on Sunday, July 12, 2015

According to Apple Daily, at 10am last Monday the foundation of the Shenzhen Qianhai International Financial Center construction site gave in. Contractors were quoted as saying that the cause could be due to soft soil around the site. The report also mentioned that poor soil conditions may be attributable to the fact that construction site was on reclaimed land.

Shenzhen Qianhai
Shenzhen Qianhai computer mock-up.

Qianhai New District has been called the “Manhattan of the Pearl River Delta.” In 2012, Xi Jinping called for the area to become a “new Central,” referring to the central business district of Hong Kong, and for the area to facilitate partnership between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Shenzhen Qianhai New District
Shenzhen Qianhai New District location. Photo: Google Maps.

Also known as Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, Qianhai New District is located to the west of Nanshan, Shenzhen, within a 30-minute commuting radius of Hong Kong.

A number of major infrastructure projects, such as Shenzhen North Railway Station and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Yanjiang Highway, will be built in Qianhai. The area has been planned as a sub-centre to the main centre of Shenzhen since July 2005, and is slated for opening in 2020.

Image: Apple Daily

Arthur Lo is an undergraduate student currently on a gap year. During Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement protests, he worked as a fixer, translator and producer for foreign media outlets such as Al-Jazeera.