CHICAGO — One person was hospitalized after a sinkhole swallowed three cars in the South Deering neighborhood on the Southeast Side of Chicago Thursday.
The person was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
Witnesses said the hole opened up around 5 a.m. at 9600 South Houston Avenue, quickly growing from about 20 feet to about 40 feet.
First two cars slid in, then a third as the hole widened, witnesses said. A fourth vehicle was towed from the edge as it was about to fall inside, witnesses said.
The man who was injured was trying to drive his car around the hole when the road gave way, according to witnesses. The man suffered minor head injuries.
Ola Oni said she was about to leave for work at 5 a.m. but had not gotten in her car yet when it suddenly fell into the hole.
“It could have happened to me, I am lucky, I’m happy,” Oni said. “In this kind of neighborhood, I don’t think this should happen.”
She gestured toward the hole. “Look at this, this neighborhood is in danger.”
The sinkhole opened up after a water main broke, according to Tom LaPorte, spokesman for the Water Department.
The heavy rain could have contributed to the break of the cast iron pipe that dates back to 1915, he said. Officials are looking at the age of the main as well as weather conditions.