Sunday 31 July 2016

Car trapped by sinkhole at Cape Burney, Western Australia.

A car became trapped after falling into a sinkhole at Cape Burney near Geraldtown in Western Australia at about 6,40 a.m. local time on Sunday 31 July 2016. The driver of the car, Ms Naomi Suckling observed the road ahead was flooded and slowed down, but was still surprised when the road collapsed beneath her vehicle, trapping its front end. Ms Suckling was unhurt in the incident, but it is unclear whether her car can be salvaged at this time.

Car trapped in a sinkhole at Cape Burney in Western Australia on Sunday 31 July 2016. Geraldtown Guardian.

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.

On this occasion the hole appears to have been triggered by the collapse of a water main, which lead to the washing away sediments beneath the road, and triggering the collapse of a water main, leading to further water loss and further erosion, eventually causing the overlying road to collapse.

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