Sinkhole Swallows 2 Junior High Students, Teacher In Osaka Pref.

Sinkhole swallows 2 junior high students, teacher in Osaka Pref.

SAKAI, Osaka -- The school grounds suddenly crumbled beneath the feet of a gym class at a junior high school here on Nov. 13, with two students and a teacher falling into the sinkhole one after the other.

The incident occurred at Hirai Junior High School in Sakai's Naka Ward. Two female students fell into the hole with a 23-year-old female teacher. The instructor was quickly able to climb out of the sinkhole on her own, and the students were soon rescued with leg bruises, scrapes and other light injuries, while the teacher was unharmed.

The Sakai Municipal Board of Education failed to report the incident to the fire department or prefectural police upon receiving word of the incident. A representative from the board said they "forgot." According to the school and the board, the sinkhole caused by the collapse was 2.4 meters long and 0.8 meters wide with a maximum depth of 5.4 meters. At one point, the hole was filled with water up to 2 meters from the surface.

The board of education is currently investigating the cause of the collapse.