6th Street Swallows Car in Downtown St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Two gym-goers got the shock of their lives Thursday morning when they came out to find their car in a sinkhole.

KMOX’s Michael Calhoun was live at the scene:

The hole appeared in downtown St. Louis on 6th Street between Olive and Locust around 7 a.m. in front of the old Famous Barr building. The car was parked at a meter while the owners, a St. Louis couple, were working out at the downtown YMCA.

Jordan Westerberg and Natessa Bartleson have lived in St. Louis for just a few year, since moving from Iowa and say they park there car in that spot often.

“It looks like this water main break has been here for a while, there’s only six inches of blacktop here,” Westerberg says.

KMOX asked Curt Skouby, director of public utilities for the city of St. Louis, about the safety of city streets and how the situation happened.

KMOX: Are any other parts of the street unstable?

Skouby: Not that we know of, it looks like it’s confined to what you see there.

KMOX: How old were the pipes?

Skouby: I don’t know at this time; I don’t know.

KMOX: Was the water main break to blame for the street collapse?

Skouby: We may not ever be able to determine because it could be a “chicken and an egg,” what was first.

As crews arrived to the scene, many people walking to work stopped to take photos. Barriers were set up to stop traffic in both directions, and spray paint and police tape marked off areas that cracks from the hole in the roadway had stretched to.

The car was flipped, wheels up in the hole, as water gushed from a broken water pipe. The water slowed to a trickle just after 9 a.m.

No one was in the car when it fell into the hole, and there is no official word yet on what caused 6th Street to swallow the white Toyota Camry.

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