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WATCH: Giant sinkhole swallows car in St Louis

2017-06-30 15:21

Image: AP

St Louis - A driver who scored what he thought was a prime parking spot in downtown St. Louis said he returned from a Thursday morning trip to the gym with his fiancee to find his car swallowed by a sinkhole.

Jordan Westerberg told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that when the couple came back to his Toyota Camry shortly before 7 a.m. and didn't see the car, they figured it had been towed.

Street workers were gathered at the parking space, a tipoff that something was amiss.

That's when Westerberg, 25, found the vehicle in the gaping hole - about 6 metres deep and 2.5 to 3 metres across - that took up the entire southbound lane of the street, next to a vacant building expected to feature apartments, office space and retail.

No injuries were reported.

Image: AP

Westerberg, who lives in a loft downtown, said: "It's pretty crazy. We could've been in the car. It's a compact car. It's not like it's heavy."

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the collapse, though an 8" below-ground water main at the site appeared to have been broken for some time, given the amount of erosion.

Image: AP

Vincent Foggie, of the city's water division, said hole was missing mounds of dirt that normally support the road's asphalt-topped concrete. He called such voids large enough to swallow a vehicle a rarity in the city.

Foggie said: "We don't know what happened. I have no idea where the dirt went."

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