A 20-foot sinkhole opened up in Studio City, California, Friday swallowing two vehicles and injuring one woman who had to be rescued by firefighters.
According to Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department, firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after 8:15 p.m. to discover one car upside-down in a large sinkhole full of rushing water.
A woman had escaped the car but was found standing on her overturned vehicle approximately 10 feet below street level. She had been the only occupant of the car.
“Firefighters jumped into action and rapidly lowered an extension ladder down to the woman, allowing her to climb out, and transported her to a local hospital in fair condition,” Scott said.
The woman told firefighters that, while en route, her car pitched to the left, then tumbled into the sinkhole and its airbags deployed. Water started coming into the vehicle and she tried to raise the windows, which did not work, Scott explained. She was then able to open the door, climb on top of the car, and scream for help.
“She said she thought she was going to die,” Scott noted. “Then she heard the firefighters yell back to her.”
After the first car toppled into the hole, “The pavement continued to give way and the second vehicle fell in the sinkhole,” Scott said. The driver of the second vehicle was able to escape the car unharmed.
Scott noted that the vehicles were expected to be removed Saturday during daylight hours.
Fire officials reported that the sinkhole was caused by water running under the street.
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