September 3, 2014 8:34 pm

Passengers forced to evacuate through windows after bus gets stuck in sinkhole

A valley metro bus sits mired in a collapsed, muddy street after a water main break flooded the area, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 in Tempe, Ariz.

AP Photo/Matt York

TEMPE, Ariz. – A city bus got stuck in a sinkhole after a water main broke in suburban Phoenix, forcing the passengers and driver to evacuate through the windows.

Tempe police say the back right side of the bus fell into the hole at about 10 a.m. Wednesday. All 11 passengers and the driver got out safely.

It took about two hours for city crews to shut off all the valves and stop the flow of water in the area of Apache Boulevard and McClintock Drive.

Two tow trucks tried to pull the bus from the sinkhole, but authorities say the bus was too heavy. A crane was brought in and hoisted the bus out of the sinkhole around 5 p.m.

Some residents in the area reported water damage in their homes, and the operators of a motel said some guests had to be moved out after water covered the bottom floor.

Authorities say the cause of the water main break hasn’t been determined, but it likely was due to the age of the infrastructure. Police say nearby light rail tracks weren’t impacted by the water and trains were still operating.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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