A driver returning to his car after visiting a gym in the Downtown area of St Louis, Missouri on Thursday 29 June 2017 was shocked to discover the vehicle had been swallowed by a sinkhole measuring six meters across and about seven meters deep. Nobody was hurt in the incident, but it is unclear at this time whether the vehicle will be salvageable.
Vehicle trapped in a sinkhole in St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday 29 June 2017. Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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.
However in this occasion the sinkhole is believed to have been caused by a ruptured water main, which washed away unconsolidated sediments beneath the road, creating a void into which the vehicle collapsed.