Late Thursday Nov. 20, a PPL Electric Utilities truck in Pennsylvania dropped into a sinkhole — formed due to a water main break — and landed on a gas line, leading officials to evacuate neighbors in the Bethlehem community.
Approximately 30 residents were forced from their homes, according to several news sources.
Authorities evacuated residents living within 300 feet of the Norfolk Drive and Hampton Road intersection around 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 21 — about an hour after the PPL truck dropped into the gaping hole along the 1800 block of Hampton Road, according to NBC10.com.
Bethlehem Water and Sewer Director Edward Boscola told NBC10.com that the PPL truck was sitting on a soft bed of soil. "Even though the road bed is still in tact, the sinkhole opened up a void underneath the road bed. So when a heavy truck — like a PPL utility truck — parks there, it basically sinks in the hole," he said.
The vehicle came to rest on a 4-inch gas line — which led to the evacuation so crews could determine whether it broke, according to officials. The investigation showed the gas line remained intact and there was no leak. The driver, who was in the vehicle during the accident, was not hurt.
The sinkhole opened around 11:15 p.m., nearly three hours after crews began investigating a water main break in the area, according to reports. The break was located at 10:25 p.m. Crews worked to repair it until the sinkhole swallowed the truck and then resumed once the vehicle was pulled from the hole, The Morning Call reported.
Boscola said they found significant damage to at least one local home where the driveway buckled.