WEIRD NEWS

Giant Hole Swallows At Least 14 Vehicles In IHOP Parking Lot

It's half the size of a football field.

 

Sometimes you’re devouring pancakes; sometimes a giant hole is devouring your car.

An enormous hole swallowed at least 14 vehicles in an International House of Pancakes parking lot in Meridian, Mississippi, Saturday night -- just a week after the establishment opened for business, NBC News reported.

Officials were grateful there were no injuries.

“The sinkhole is huge," Patrol Lt. Rita Jack with Meridian Police told NBC. “If you imagine a football field cut in half, it is every bit of 50 feet wide and about 100 - 125 feet wide. We are talking 14 to 15 vehicles. It is very scary. We are so fortunate that no injuries were sustained.”

Initial reports said the collapse was a sinkhole, but Meridian Public Safety Director Buck Roberts told the Meridian Star Sunday that it was not technically one. A sinkhole is a hole or collapse in the ground caused by erosion.

"You can call it what you want, a cave-in or whatever, but it is not a sinkhole," he said. Roberts wasn't able to say what did cause the collapse.

Witnesses told local news station KSLA that they heard loud booming at around 7:15 p.m., just before the IHOP's power went out and the ground opened up.

Officials don’t know what caused the collapse, but news station WTOK noted the town received 3 inches of rain over the weekend and nearly 10 inches over the past two weeks.

The vehicles fell about 30 feet into the ground. They could sink further, Jack explained, since right now they’re only sitting on mud. Recovery workers expect to start moving vehicles within a few days, NBC reported, although rain may slow down their efforts.

This story has been updated after Meridian Public Safety Director Buck Roberts said that the collapse was not technically a sinkhole.

 

Contact the author at Hilary.Hanson@huffingtonpost.com

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