Sinkhole swallows car as RDP residents air concerns over infrastructure
Published Saturday, June 29, 2013 5:04PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 29, 2013 6:47PM EDT
MONTREAL -- A car driving in Rivieres-des-Prairies was swallowed by a sinkhole early Saturday morning after a burst pipe on Gouin Blvd.
While the driver managed to escape without injury, more than half the vehicle submerged.
The incident, which took place at 2:30 a.m., also caused significant damage to nearby homes.
As the city of Montreal repaired the pipe and road Saturday, local residents came by to inspect the bizarre scene.
The incident came as a surprise to Alessio Brotto said he feels lucky it wasn't his car that was trapped.
“I knew it (would happen) one day, it's like, something bad is going to happen over here,” he said. “Potholes everywhere, the streets are narrow.”
Brotto’s mother Gina Molino said she has lived along Gouin for 30 years and this is nothing new.
“Just in front of my house, in the span of two years I think we had four water main breaks,” she said. “We complained to the city that this street really, really needs desperate surgery.”
The city said the damage was caused by a burst pipe eroding the pavement from underneath.
The ensuing water flowed along the road then downhill into the basement of an apartment building at around 3 a.m. Residents inside were unharmed, but the damage is extensive, including living rooms covered in mud and garage tiles washed away like stones in a river.
For some tenants without apartment insurance, the property damage could lead to expensive repairs.
Gouin Blvd has been neglected for too long, said Chantal Rouleau, RDP-Pointe-aux-Trembles borough mayor.
“We know that the pipes at different places need to be replaced,” she said.
The borough is planning to hold public consultations on Gouin Blvd. in the fall.