A female driver had to be rescued after her car was swallowed by a sinkhole in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday 22 July 2017. The woman was manoeuvring in the vehicle when the road began to collapse beneath it. She exited the car and was pulled out of the hole by passers by with only minor injuries, with the subsidence continuing and dragging the vehicle some way further into the ground.
Sinkhole in El Paso, Texas, on 22 July 2017. KFOX 14.
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.
The approximate location of the 22 July 2017 El Paso sinkhole. Google Maps.
On this occasion the sinkhole was caused by the collapse of an overloaded storm drain beneath the road, releasing water that washed away soft sediments under the road. The incident happened amid heavy rains that caused several flash flooding incidents in the area.
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