Sinkhole closes part of Canadian capital Ottawa

  • 09/06/2016
Sinkhole hits downtown Ottawa, Canada (CBS)
Sinkhole hits downtown Ottawa, Canada (CBS)

A large sinkhole has closed down a portion of Canada's capital and forced the evacuation of businesses just a few blocks from the country's parliament.

Photos and video posted on Twitter on Wednesday showed water flowing into a hole that stretched across what is normally a busy downtown Ottawa street.

The smell of gas in the area prompted the evacuation of nearby buildings, the City of Ottawa said on its Twitter account, including the Rideau Center shopping mall, which is owned by Cadillac Fairview, a unit of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The area has been under construction for work related to Ottawa's new light-rail transit system.

The city of Ottawa said it was investigating and asked residents to stay away from the area.