When the bottom drops out: Sinkholes around the world

A massive sinkhole has opened up in downtown Ottawa, causing a gas leak and forcing the evacuation of the Rideau Centre. Following is a look at images from this and other sinkholes in Canada and around the world.

A sinkhole has shutdown Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa

A massive sinkhole that opened up in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday has caused a gas leak and forced out people in nearby businesses. Video shot by people who happened to be near the scene shows water gushing and a car falling in at a major intersection. 

While dramatic, sinkholes like the one in Ottawa are not rare. Here's a look at some others in Canada and around the world.

(Jean Delisle/CBC)

A water main break caused this one in Florence

Dozens of cars fell into a chasm that opened near the Ponte Vecchio, in Florence, Italy, in May after an underground pipe ruptured. No one was injured.

(Maurizio degl'Innocenti/ANSA/Associated Press)

A sinkhole swallowed cars in IHOP parking lot.

This chasm opened up outside a Meridian, Miss., pancake house in November 2015. Nobody was hurt, but over a dozen cars were swallowed up.

(Michael Stewart/The Meridian Star/AP)

A backhoe fell into this Montreal sinkhole.

In another dramatic Canadian collapse, a backhoe fell victim to an eight-by-five metre sinkhole that opened unexpectedly at the intersection of Guy and Ste-Catherine streets in downtown Montreal in August 2013.

(Christine Muschi/Reuters)

A water main break caused this one in Kitchener, Ont.

Two men on their way to work at a landscaping company got a surprise when their truck dropped into a flooded sinkhole in February 2016. A crane was brought in to hoist it out of the hole

(Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

A Toronto driver had to crawl out his car window.

In April 2015, Mario Tavares got a shock when his Jaguar was partially swallowed by a parking lot sinkhole.

(Michael Charles Cole/CBC)

The Corvette Museum got a new attraction in 2014.

A sinkhole that opened up at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., became such an attraction that the eight, mangled cars it swallowed are still on display. Dirt from the sinkhole was also put on sale in the gift shop.

(Michael Noble Jr./Associated Press)

Ottawa has had sinkholes before.

In February 2014, a large hole opened up in the pavement at the intersection of Laurier Avenue and Waller Street (just around the corner from the most recent sinkhole) near the University of Ottawa. This one was about eight metres wide by 12 metres deep.

(Blair Gable/Reuters) ((Blair Gable/Reuters))

Holy Toledo!

Toledo, Ohio, driver Pamela Knox had to wait for a firefighter rescue after her car dropped into this massive sinkhole that opened up underneath her car in 2013. A water main break was to blame for the hole. Knox wasn't hurt. 

(Matthew Hertzfeld/Toledo Fire Rescue)

Floodwater caused this one in Duluth.

Torrential rain in Duluth, Minn., in June 2011 forced residents from their homes (and zoo animals from their pens) and caused this suburban sinkhole. 

(Brian Peterson/Star Tribune/Associated Press)

A sinkhole top them all.

One of the most infamous sinkholes in recent memory opened up after tropical storm Agatha passed over Guatemala City in May 2010, swallowing an entire entire city block, including a three-storey building.

(Casa Presidencial/Reuters)


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