According to the AP wire service, a fire engine had to be pulled from a large sinkhole that opened as it was responding to a broken water main on a Los Angeles street.
Four firefighters escaped injury as mud and water poured into the vehicle’s cabin Tuesday in the San Fernando Valley. They were attempting to back the 44,000 lb. truck out of the street when the road collapsed pulling them in as it disappeared.
A broken, 6-inch cast iron pipe caused the sinkhole. A Department of Water and Power official says it’s unlikely the burst pipe is related to another one that broke two miles away over the weekend and flooded homes and cars.
The firefighters were responding to a call about flooding on a residential street in the Valley Village neighborhood when they saw excessive water on the road. The crew was concerned about the ground being unstable.
A captain and engineer safely climbed out of the windows and two other firefighters jumped from the rear as water and mud began to fill the vehicle’s interior.
Water in the area was turned off while tow trucks pulled the engine out of the hole. Crews were also inspecting for possible damages to gas and sewer lines in the area.
Officials didn’t know whether the burst water main was related to another one that broke about two miles away over the weekend. The rupture in Studio City on Saturday swept cars down streets, forced people out of their homes and flooded a section of a major boulevard.
The broken main was part of the city’s original water system, dating to 1914, and was slated for repair.