Massive sinkhole opens in UK street

A sinkhole has opened up in a residential street in St Albans, UK, forcing the evacuation of several families from their homes during the night.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND, UK (OCTOBER 1, 2015) (ITN) – A sinkhole opened on a residential street in St Albans in Hertfordshire, UK, forcing the evacuation of several families from their homes early on Thursday (October 1) morning.

Hertfordshire County Council said its Resilience Team and Fire and Rescue Service were called at 0030GMT and were working with Hertfordshire Constabulary and St Albans City and District Council.

A reception centre for residents was set up at a leisure centre in the city.

Five households, in total 20 people, were evacuated. No one has been injured and no house has been damaged, the council said.

The hole on Fontmell Close measures around 20m by 20m and is approximately 10m deep according to the statement.

Fifty-two properties in the area are without gas, electric and water, whilst highways engineers assess the situation, before the crater is filled in.

The council said it was informed about a hole in the footpath and work was scheduled to fill it in on Thursday. A prior inspection found there was no reason to suspect that the hole would collapse.