NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A sinkhole nearly swallowed a car with a driver and her kids inside Thursday in Brooklyn.
Some neighbors were shocked, others say they’d raised concerns before.
The ground suddenly gave way at Evergreen Avenue and Decatur Street in Bushwick.
The crater it left behind appeared to be about 10 feet deep, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
“Looking at maybe the biggest sinkhole I’ve ever seen in my life,” Bushwick resident Evan Murray said.
Seeing the massive sinkhole is one thing, but watching a car nearly fall into it is hard for the neighbors to fathom.
Witnesses said a woman and children were inside the car at the time.
“They were screaming for help,” said Henry Tores.
DeAngelis spoke with a bus driver who saw the car teetering at the edge of the opening.
“When I turn, then I see she’s going down in the hole, then I stopped,” he said. “I was behind the car. God spared my life.”
Massive sinkhole on Evergreen Avenue at Decatur Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A car was removed from the hole. Witnesses say a woman and kids were inside the car. Stay tuned for more info @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/gZhTfh3X14
— Jenna DeAngelis (@jennamdeangelis) August 1, 2019
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The city’s Department of Environmental Protection said there was a break on a 30-inch sewer that runs under the roadway.
“The roadway is supported by the soil and everything that’s underneath it. If there’s a break on infrastructure, such as a sewer pipe, the soil that’s supporting the roadway can give way,” said DEP Communications Director Ted Timbers. “That’s what happened here.”
Some residents in the area raised concerns, saying roadwork was done there within the last year.
“Not just repaved but redone. It was dug up, there were new gas lines put in perhaps a few months ago,” Bushwick resident Gypsy Guillen Kaiser said.
“Call them over and over, 311. Call them for this. This hole was sinking,” said resident Jimmy Grant.
Neighbors said it could have been much worse.
“It’s a matter of public safety, and it could have happened to anyone in this neighborhood or driving through it,” Kaiser said.
DeAngelis asked the DEP who is responsible, but the agency said that is under investigation.
Fortunately nobody was hurt, and as the car was towed away, it didn’t appear to have much visible damage.
Neighbors say it could have been a lot worse.
“Look, it’s a matter of public safety, and it could have happened to anyone in this neighborhood,” said Gypsy Guillen Kaiser of Bushwick.
DEP says the priority is getting the road repaired, resurfaced and reopened to the public, which will likely take a day or two. You can anticipate the road to stay closed in the meantime, but no utility services are being disrupted.
“The City’s infrastructure needs to be our top priority in city planning. Our transportation system is falling apart on all fronts. We need a full study of the integrity of our roads. Luckily no one was severely injured, but it’s safe to say that a sinkhole of this size is anyone’s worst nightmare,” City Councilman Rafael Espinal said in a statement.