Sinkhole almost swallows Christchurch City Council truck

Ute in sinkhole
Water bubbled up from the middle of the road before the sinkhole opened. Photo credit: RNZ

By Katie Todd of RNZ

A Christchurch City Council truck ploughed into a two-metre wide sinkhole, while fixing a burst water main on a street in the suburb of Linwood, on Thursday afternoon.

Worcester St remains closed between Fitzgerald Ave and Stanmore Rd while muddy water from the ruptured pipe recedes from pavements people's front lawns.

A resident on the street, Mike Cox, said the water main burst shortly after midday.

The water bubbled up from the middle of the road, thickened with silt and funnelled onto several low-lying properties, including his.

"It was right at the front door. We were actually worried it would get to the floorboards, that the carpet would get wet, but we're lucky it was only millimetres away from getting that high," he said.

Cox said his back lawn is swamped and his front lawn is a "swimming pool", so he's grateful the council responded straight away to his phone call for help.

But one of the staff members who responded was caught out by the sinkhole that formed around the ruptured pipe, with their truck landing nose first.

In a statement, a Christchurch City Council spokesperson said more asphalt gave way as the vehicle stopped.

"The driver is okay and the vehicle has since been towed out of the hole," they said.

Mike Cox was setting to work this afternoon cleaning up, along with several other neighbours.

"At least our grass will be really green," he said.