Nova Scotia

6-metre sinkhole opens up in Springhill parking lot

New Brunswick trucker Dale Vautour was making a delivery to an industrial park in Springhill, N.S., when he felt his vehicle lurch.

Dale Vautour was making a delivery in the industrial park when he felt his tractor-trailer lurch

The municipality says the sinkhole is 6.4 metres deep and six metres wide. (Submitted by Dale Vautour)

A New Brunswick truck driver got uncomfortably close to a former mine shaft this week in Springhill, N.S., when a sinkhole opened up under his vehicle. 

Dale Vautour says he didn't know what to think when he felt the passenger's side of his 18-wheeler lurch.

"The ground had opened up and the wheel was down inside the hole," he told CBC Radio's Maritime Noon. "I was lucky the whole front end didn't go in."

Vautour was in the process of making a delivery in the community's industrial park. He was able to back the truck out of the hole and examined the gap afterward. 

Municipal officials later measured the sinkhole and say it was 6.4 metres deep and about six metres wide. 

They say it opened up to a coal slope that was used in the late 1800s. 

Vautour says he's just grateful he didn't drive further ahead and suspects the weight of his trailer — he was hauling about 18,000 kilograms — would have caused it to crash right through the fragile pavement.   

"Once I pulled the wheel out, the earth probably wouldn't have been more than six, seven inches thick. I don't know how the truck's rest of the front didn't go down through, but luckily it didn't," he said. 

The municipality filled in the hole Thursday evening. 

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