Sinkholes, shaky building cause panic in Vietnam court

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It was a scene straight out of a disaster movie.

At 3:30 pm Friday an office belonging to the Ho Chi Minh City's People's Court suddenly began to shake violently accompanied by loud noises. As dozens of people ran out in terror, two large sinkholes, one of more than 20 square meters, opened up.

Luckily, no one was injured as the heavily damaged building did not collapse and no one fell into the three-meter-deep holes.

It is thought the problem was caused by digging for a basement next door where a skyscraper is being built.

It happened at the Court of Administration-Economics-Labor at 26 Le Thanh Ton in the downtown area.

According to court employees, it began with the loud noises and shaking.

Soon, a giant sinkhole appeared in front of the building even as the floor inside too collapsed.

People managed to flee even as the second sinkhole opened up, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

Firefighters were dispatched to retrieve documents from the building.

An unnamed court official told \VnExpress that the building started showing signs of sinking and cracking a few months ago due to the construction next door.

The court asked the builder to rent another office for it but no deal has been reached yet.

Being built by Quoc Cuong Gia Lai Group, the building is a 25-floor high-rise with four basements for a shopping mall and apartments.

The next morning the builder tried to repair the damage by pumping concrete, but it did not work. The building has been demolished.

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