CHICAGO — One person was hospitalized after a sinkhole swallowed three cars in Chicago’s Southeast Side neighborhood Thursday morning.
Witnesses said the hole opened up around 5 a.m., quickly growing from about 20 feet to about 40 feet. First two cars slid in, then a third as the hole widened, witnesses said. A fourth vehicle was towed from the edge as it was about to fall inside, witnesses said.
Merko Krivokuca was driving his pickup truck to work when the hole opened up and he drove down into it. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for “a couple of scratches,” according to his father, Peter Krivokuca. Krivokuca stared in disbelief at the hole as cleanup crews hovered around the area.
Alejandro Filerio said he heard what sounded like a car crash. He looked out the window and saw a white car and a gold SUV across the street. Figuring it was just a minor accident, he went back to bed.
An hour and a half later, Filerio, 30, stepped onto his porch and saw the giant hole.
Ola Oni said she was about to leave for work at 5 a.m. but had not gotten in her car yet when it suddenly fell into the hole.
“It could have happened to me, I am lucky, I’m happy,” Oni said. “In this kind of neighborhood, I don’t think this should happen.”
She gestured toward the hole. “Look at this, this neighborhood is in danger.”
The sinkhole opened up after a water main broke, according to Tom LaPorte, spokesman for the Water Department. The heavy rain could have contributed to the break of the cast iron pipe that dates back to 1915, he said. Officials are looking at the age of the main as well as weather conditions.