Saturday 30 September 2017

Jogger and truck fall into sinkhole in San Antonio, Texas.

A jogger and a police truck have fallen into a sinkhole that appeared in the Pecan Valley area of San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, 29 September 2017. The hole was first encountered by jogger Jeanette Berlanga, who was out running with her boyfriend when she stepped into what she assumed was a puddle in Southside Lions Park and found the pool was in fact a large hole. Shortly after she escaped a truck driven by an off-duty San Antonio Police officer returning home after a shift at work also encountered the hole. He was also able to escape, but the vehicle had to be towed out of the hole.

Truck trapped in a sinkhole in San Antonio, Texas, on 29 September 2017. Caleb Downs/My SA.

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 sinkhole is thought to have formed after a cast iron pipe carrying excess rainwater collapsed, allowing the water to escape and wash away soft sediments beneath the road, leading the road above to collapse into the void.

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