Nova Scotia

'It just collapsed': large sinkhole appears in wooded area in Oxford, N.S.

A large spruce tree and a picnic table fell in the sinkhole, which is about 12 metres across and seven metres deep.

Sinkhole swallowed up picnic table at Lions Club along Main Street

The sinkhole opened up on Monday evening on Highway 321, also known as Main Street, in Oxford, N.S. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A large sinkhole has opened up in a wooded area off Main Street in Oxford, N.S.

The sinkhole, which measures roughly 12 metres across and seven metres deep, was reported to the RCMP at 8:25 p.m. on Monday.

The hole is in a park belonging to the Oxford Lions Club.

Don Christie, the chairman of the park, said club members first noticed the hole on July 28, when it was about about half a metre wide and deep. On Aug. 9, they used a backhoe to dig down as far as they could go, about two metres, and then filled the hole with rocks.

But it kept growing.

Then, on Monday night, "it just collapsed into this huge hole," Christie said.

"We were watching it last night, and as we were watching and listening, you could hear the water rushing from somewhere to somewhere, we're not sure where. And pieces of the bank were just falling away, just cascading into the open pit."

The sinkhole is in a wooded area of the Oxford Lions Club park. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

When the earth collapsed, it took with it a large spruce tree and a picnic table. Another table is teetering on the edge of the hole.

The bottom of the hole has filled with water.

Christie said it's unclear whether the worst is over.

"It's growing as we speak, and we have no idea how big it's going to get," he said. "We're hoping it's run its course, but who knows?"

The park is now closed, and the area, which is just across from Oxford's giant blueberry monument and a Tim Hortons, has been taped off. Signs have been posted to notify passersby of the danger.

The sinkhole swallowed one picnic table and another is near the edge. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

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With files from Anjuli Patil and Paul Palmeter