A sinkhole in the Southeast Side of Chicago swallowed three cars and injured one person Thursday morning, and was caused by an old water main that gave out, the city’s Water Department commissioner said.
The hole opened up at 5 a.m. Originally 20 feet in diameter it quickly expanded to 40 feet, the Chicago Tribune reported. Two cars fell in when it first opened, and a third fell as the hole widened.
When the water main broke, it breached the sewer below, and all of the soil under the pavement was washed into the sewer, Water Department commissioner Thomas Powers said.
“The pavement couldn’t even handle it’s own weight any more, let alone the three cars sitting on top of it,” Powers told the Tribune.
He said the water main broke because of the age of Chicago’s infrastructure, not the heavy rains that have caused flooding in the area.
The injured, Merko Krivokuca, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for just a few scratches, his father Peter Krivokuca told the Tribune. Merko had been driving a silver pickup truck to work when the ground opened up and his car fell in.