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SUV swallowed by invisible city sinkhole

Matamoros, Tamaulipas — An SUV traveling along a roadway in the city of Matamoros was swallowed at its front end after driving into a sinkhole. Inside, the three people managed to get out safely after passersby who witnessed the odd incident stopped to help.

The vehicle was traveling along Plan de Ayutla Avenue around 9:00 a.m. when the front end of their vehicle suddenly fell downward into a hole. The sinkhole, which was filled with water and looked like a large pothole, was the result of a ruptured water line, said Guillermo Lash de la Fuente, head of the Matamoros Water and Drainage Board.

He said a 16-inche water line broke, and due to the recent heavy rains, it was impossible for motorists to see the hole, noting that softening of the subsoil in that area of the city is common. He added that the heavy rains and broken pipe no doubt saw the soil give way due to the weight of the pavement and passing vehicles.

Elements of Civil Protection and employees of the Water Board removed the heavily damaged SUV and repaired the pipe. The huge hole responsible for the accident has since been filled in.