Large crater left by car-consuming sinkhole in Buckinghamshire.
Walking out to your car only to find it has been stolen or vandalised is enough to make anyone’s heart sink. So you can imagine the strange concoction of feelings that would wash over you upon the realisation your car has been swallowed by the earth.
Reports say 19-year-old Zoe Smith went out in the morning to drive to work in her VW Lupo at 7am when she was greeted by a 15ft-wide crater left by a sinkhole. Her car was located 30-ft down at the bottom of it.
“At 7am my daughter went out the front door and instead of her car being there, there was a huge hole,” Miss Smith’s stepfather Phil Conran told the Daily Mail. “I was gobsmacked. The first thing I did was phone the police because we didn’t know what to do.”
“We weren’t absolutely sure the car was in there but it seemed too much of a coincidence for it not to be,” he added.
Mr Conran ended up ringing the fire service to secure the surrounding area. The family has since been evacuated from their house, which is within inches of the sinkhole, in Walter’s Ash in Buckinghamshire. Miss Smith’s VW Lupo is a write-off.
A wet December and January in combination with mining pits below the ground are said to be to blame. Local firefighter watch manager Stuart Crosse explained: “We get a few calls of this nature, mainly in the south of the county. Historically, holes have appeared in the area due to clay mining.”
The Britannica Encyclopaedia defines a sinkhole as a “topographic depression formed as underlying bedrock is dissolved by groundwater”. One of the largest natural sinkholes, which can be found in Cairo, Egypt, is around 80km long and 120km wide.