Viral mobile phone footage has captured the moment an excavator was buried by a collapsing building it was in the process of tearing down.
The dramatic accident happened in an as yet unnamed Chinese city, where the demolition team was tasked with bringing down an illegal building.
Footage taken by local residents from the sidelines shows the single digger and its operator working at the base of the multi-storey structure, which appears to have been unfinished.
For one reason or another, authorities in the city did not sanction its construction for lack of a permit or land rights, and the government ordered the residential tower torn down.
The clip now viewed more than half a million times at the time of writing - less than 24 hours after being published - shows the excavator hammering at one of the pillars of the building.
But there is a sudden rumble as the base pillar snaps and sends the entire structure tumbling down.
The building collapses onto the digger, and in a few short seconds the vehicle is buried by rubble and the video ends.
Netizens on Chinese social media said the building’s apparent fragility is exactly the reason why it should not have been built in the first place - and why the government was right to have it torn down.
But there is so far no word on whether the unnamed operator survived the horrific accident.