Crews work to repair giant sinkhole that swallowed Bronx van

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
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It was a wild scene in the Bronx after a sinkhole opened up and swallowed a van after a day of torrential rain and flooding across the area.

MORRIS PARK, Bronx (WABC) -- A sinkhole opened up and swallowed a van in the Bronx after a day of torrential rain and flooding across the area.

Crews were still working on Tuesday to repair the 58-foot long, 15-foot wide and 20-foot deep hole on Radcliff Avenue in Morris Park.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection responded to investigate the scene.

Crews say repair work will be extensive, and the block will remain closed for a week or so to rebuild subsurface infrastructure and restore the roadway.

Officials said everything will be considered as part of the investigation, including if weather played a role.

"The investigation into the root cause of the roadway collapse is ongoing," DEP spokesperson Edward Timbers said. "The weather certainly could have played a part of it."

As for the van, Timbers said it appeared to survive the traumatic experience and was able to be driven away.

Some residents are now without water service because of the sinkhole, and many were left lugging bottles of water back to their homes in the 90-degree heat.

"No words can explain it," Morris Park resident Donna Messina said. "Thank God nobody got hurt. God forbid somebody was driving over it at the time. Very scary."

The first step was to lift the empty van out of the sinkhole, then to shore up and secure the sinkhole from growing any wider.

"This is not the first time, since last year, this is a problem," resident Pash Maksuti said. "They opened this here last year, they fixed it about two, three months ago. Again, it happened over here."

And that is perhaps the most frustrating part for the neighbors, that this is the second sinkhole in the area. Last August, during Hurricane Ida, a sinkhole opened up just down the street.

"There was another sinkhole during then, so they fixed that," neighbor Sara Manzo said. "They just finished this one a few months ago, and now we have this one. So hopefully it's cleared up quicker than that."

The city set up a pair of water stations for those who lost service.

"It's not going to help," area resident Khairul Dipu said. "We are too far. I asked them if you could open a middle one. They said there is no water there."

Crews were filling the sinkhole with sand and dirt as they tried to secure the area.

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