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Gigantic Sinkhole Opens Up In Bay Ridge And Nearly Swallows Parked Car

It Could Be Days Before Crews Fill, Patch 20-Ft-Deep By 20-Ft-Wide Opening
Bay Ridge Sinkhole (credit: @gazawia via Twitter)

Bay Ridge Sinkhole (credit: @gazawia via Twitter)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A large sinkhole opened up Wednesday afternoon in Brooklyn, creating a close call for one family that had just parked their car in its vicinity.

The 20-foot-deep by 20-foot-wide hole, which formed at around 6 p.m., is located between 4th and 5th avenues in Bay Ridge. Crews stabilized the situation Wednesday night, but they may be working to fill in the massive hole for days, officials said.

Maddie Flood said she and her mother, Annette, had just parked their car shortly before it was partially swallowed by the hole, leaving it leaning “like the Titanic.”

“We’re so blessed. If we were five minutes later or anything, we could have been in the hole,” she told 1010 WINS’ Aaron Gerberg.

“We narrowly missed being involved in something worse,” Annette Flood told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.

Maddie Flood said that she and her mom had walked about five steps from where they parked and into their home before bringing their dog outside minutes later.

“We re-opened the door just to put the dog on the lead and there were tons of people around a hole and we were like ‘what’s going on?'” she said.

“I turned around and looked out the window and said ‘Oh my God, there’s a hole in the street!'” neighbor Christine Hansen told CBS 2.

It took nearly two hours of careful planning and pulling to get the car out of danger. The FDNY and members of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection rigged a device to pull the car from the deep drop beneath the street and to safety.

“They put a band around the middle of it. I really don’t know how they got it out, but they did,” Annette Flood said.

The DEP said it was all caused by a 50-inch sewer pipe that broke, taking dirt and the street down with it. However, people in the neighborhood said the road seemed to have been compromised by a lot of recent road work.

“The work is shabby. They’re not doing the work right. It’s not being filled in properly,” Hansen said.

In fact, it marked the second time in a month there has been a sinkhole in the area, with the other having happened inside of 15 blocks away. The DEP said at this point it’s too early to tell exactly why the hole opened up, adding it will take at least through the weekend to fill it in and patch it up.

“It’s a reasonably deep excavation, so we have to be cautious about how we go about it so it’s safely done,” the DEP’s Jim Roberts said.

Maddie Flood lauded the FDNY for keeping the crowd that gathered under control and people safe.

“Our car was right under a high-pressure gas line, so there were so many intricate parts where it could have gone wrong and people could have really gotten hurt and we’re OK and everyone’s OK,” Flood said. “So we’re very grateful.”

No one was evacuated. One house did have interruption to its gas service, officials said.

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