This Thursday morning, emergency service crews removed a car from a giant sinkhole in Bushwick, at the crossroads of Evergreen Avenue and Decatur Street. Nancy Santiago and her two children, a 5- and a 7-year-olds, were on their way for camp drop-off around 7 a.m.
Santiago saw a pothole on the road and stopped, “I felt something rumble so I looked to the side, there was a gentleman waiting for his Uber to go to work. I said to him ‘omg, what do I do? Should I reverse?”
The man said to get out, as Santiago was still unaware that the car had started sinking. He yelled and told her to look down, “that’s when I realized what was happening and I started screaming, ‘please get my kids out, a 5- and a 7-year-old. I took off my seatbelt got my 5-year-old out from back, and the guy that was there, which I want to call an angel, helped to get my daughter out.”
After they evacuated the vehicle, the family was transported to the hospital for evaluation. “I want to say thank you to everyone that wishes us well. We are shaken up, a little pain, but everyone is good,” Santiago told Bushwick Daily.
Local Councilmember Rafael Espinal tweeted that the sinkhole measures 8 by 16 feet, with a depth of 12 feet.
While local residents in the area are concerned over the fresh roadwork that was done there within the last year, CBS Local News report that the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said there was a break on a 30-inch sewer that runs under the roadway, causing the sinkhole.
“The roadway is supported by the soil and everything that’s underneath it. If there’s a break on infrastructure, such as a sewer pipe, the soil that’s supporting the roadway can give way,” said DEP Communications Director Ted Timbers in an interview with CBS. “That’s what happened here.”
Espinal recommended residents to avoid the area via noting many streets are closed off.
“We need a full study of the integrity of our roads,” Espinal told Gothamist in an interview. “Luckily no one was hurt, but it’s safe to say that a sinkhole of this size is anyone’s worst nightmare.”
Editor’s Note: story was updated with quotes from Nancy Santiago at 11:26 p.m.
Cover image courtesy of Gypsy Guillén Kaiser via Twitter.
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