Car swallowed by El Paso sinkhole; 1 woman rescued


(NewsNation) — A woman suffered minor injuries after her car was submerged by a sinkhole that opened in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday.

NewsNation local affiliate KTSM said the woman was taken to a hospital.

A day later, the car has been pulled from the sinkhole that formed after a water main broke. Crews were still working Wednesday to fill the hole with dirt.

“I don’t have an exact measurement, but you could probably fit two large SUVs in it,” El Paso Fire Department spokesperson Enrique Dueñas-Aguilar said Wednesday on “NewsNation Prime.”

Video taken by Dueñas-Aguilar and posted on Storyful shows bystanders and fire crews pulling the woman out of the rear windshield of the car. The car was swallowed by the sinkhole only moments later.

Dueñas-Aguilar said it was a quick rescue, and one of the firefighters climbed into the car to pull out the woman, who was still buckled into the driver’s seat. She is recovering and was in “good health” on Wednesday, Duenas-Aguilar said.

“The fire department just got here in time,” one bystander said. “Thirty seconds more and she would have been dead.”

Three firefighters were also treated at the scene for minor injuries caused when they broke the back window to rescue the woman, Dueñas-Aguilar said.

Heavy rain poured in parts of El Paso starting around 4 p.m. Tuesday before the incident, Austin’s local CBS station reported. Dueñas-Aguilar said it just looked like standing water was on the road, so there would have been no way to know a sinkhole was there.

Sinkholes can form when water dissolves the surface layer of ground and soil loosens.

News crews reported seeing a downed traffic light and a fence at the intersection, with large pools of water.

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