Giant sinkhole swallows car and part of CA neighborhood

Richmond, CA - (NBC) - Crews are trying to figure out how to fix a massive sinkhole in Richmond, CA, that has already devoured at least one car and part the road in an East Bay neighborhood and could keep spreading.

People who live inside the Creek View Apartment complex in Richmond say it sounded like an earthquake Thursday around 6:30 p.m. when the ground gave way, opening up a 20 by 60-foot wide hole at least 40-feet deep on Via Verdi Road. One man living in the complex said he saw two cars fall into the massive hole.

"I saw the first car, a white car, which is buried under the dirt," William Silva said, "Then 5 or 10 minutes later, a blue car fell in."

Fire crews, secured by ropes, walked down a ladder to see if anyone was inside the car atop the dirt pile or whether more than one car went into it. They said they only saw one car. The area is surrounded by barricades and caution tape. Engineers plan to get a better look at the spectacle Friday.

Investigators tell us heavy rain may have been too much for the ground beneath the road to take. Cracks in the roadway and the sounds of crumbling ground have investigators worried that the hole could get bigger.

Crews shut down Via Verdi Road leaving hundreds of people who live on the other side to get around on foot. They are hoping to make enough room on the road to allow cars to pass through Friday.

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