August 5, 2013 3:06 pm

Sinkhole swallows backhoe in downtown Montreal

MONTREAL – City workers were at a site in downtown Montreal, responding to a call about a water main leak, when suddenly, the ground gave way.

At about 9 a.m. at the corner of Guy and Ste. Catherine Streets, a backhoe slipped into a sinkhole about eight metres long and five metres across.

In pictures: Montreal street opens up, swallows a backhoe

The driver was transferred to hospital for shock but his injuries were not considered serious.

Police expanded the perimeter due to concerns that more of the street could give way and city officials have confirmed that there is a gas line at the intersection at Guy and Ste. Catherine.

Emergency crews, engineers and investigators from Quebec’s workplace health and safety board (CSST) were at the scene to determine the best way to remove the vehicle from the hole.were at the scene, trying to evaluate the safest way to remove the backhoe.

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Authorities would not confirm how long it would take to repair the damage.

The owner of Shark’s Pool Hall in the Faubourg Sainte-Catherine, told Global News that he contacted the city about a problem with the sewer more than a week ago.

“Nothing was done,” said Rahman Ismaili. “They did not send one person to see what was going on.”

© Shaw Media, 2013

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