Thursday 12 May 2016

Car swallowed by sinkhole in London.

A car was swallowed by a sinkhole which opened in a road in Charlton in southeast London overnight between Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 May 2016. The incident was not directly seen by any witnesses, but was discovered by officers from the Metropolitan Police at 3.20 am British Summertime. The owner of the car, Ghazi Hassan, who was visiting relatives in the area, has descibed the event as 'not good', but said he is thankfull nobody was injured.

The May 2016 Charlton sinkhole. PA.

Sinkholes are generally caused by water eroding soft limestone or unconsolidated deposits from beneath, causing a hole that works its way upwards and eventually opening spectacularly at the surface. Where there are unconsolidated deposits at the surface they can infill from the sides, apparently swallowing objects at the surface, including people, without trace.

In this case the sinkhole has been linked to high rainfall in southern England this year, which has led to a number of flooding events and which is thought likely to have washed away soft sediments beneath the road. 

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