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Large sinkhole swallows car parked on St. Louis street

By Daniel Uria
Large sinkhole swallows car parked on St. Louis street
A 20-foot sinkhole on a street in St. Louis swallowed a man's car on Thursday morning. Screenshot: KMOV/Inform Inc.

June 29 (UPI) -- A man found his car at the bottom of a sinkhole in a Missouri street after parking it to go to the gym on Thursday morning.

The sinkhole opened up to a depth of about 20 feet on a street in St. Louis at about 7 a.m., completely swallowing 25-year-old Jordan Westerberg's white Toyota Camry.

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"It's pretty crazy," Westerberg, who was working out in the nearby YMCA with his fiancee when the sinkhole consumed his car, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We could've been in the car. It's a compact car. It's not like it's heavy."

Greg Prater, a city street and traffic inspector, told KMOV an eight-inch water main beneath the street had been broken and significant erosion had taken place.

The city's water commissioner Curtis Skouby, added it was unclear if the water main had broken before the street collapsed and said the city was working to determine the cause of the sinkhole.

"As we expose more of the hole, excavate and clean it up, we will try to determine what happened. At this point it's a street collapse for whatever reason," Skouby said.

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Towing crews used a rotator tow truck to lift the car back to the surface, and Westerberg said he remained optimistic whoever was at fault for the collapse would be able to reimburse him for the damages.

No one was hurt in the street collapse, but the basement of the nearby Railway Exchange Building was flooded with 2 to 3 feet of water due to the water main break.

Prater said it will take crews several weeks to repair the roadway.

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