The schoolgirl was strolling down a sidewalk in the northern Chinese city of Xi'an, when she suddenly fell through a hollow section to the bottom of a six-meter-deep pit below.

A passing cab driver rushed to her rescue, climbing down the hole with the aid of a loose cable hanging beneath the walkway. Firefighters eventually showed up, bringing a ladder with them, but the harrowing ordeal was far from over.

"The ladder kept moving about, it's a little flimsy and the girl kept screaming out of fear," cabbie Wang Wei recalled. "So I told her to go first and I'll be right behind her. Finally we managed to get out."