'Sound like thunder' as car falls into sinkhole in London street
Published 12/05/2016 | 08:00
A car has fallen into a sinkhole in a London road - sparking fears that locals will have to be evacuated.
Residents in the leafy street said they heard a "sound like thunder" at around 4am on Thursday morning when a large hole opened up in the ground outside.
A blue seven-seater Vauxhall Zafira has been partially swallowed up by it and is resting on a utilities pipe which has prevented it from falling all the way in.
Police have warned locals living in Woodland Terrace in Greenwich that they may have to be evacuated.
The car was parked on the road outside Benefice of Charlton St Thomas' Church by Ghazi Hassan, who was visiting his brother on Wednesday night.
Mr Ghazi's brother, Abdul Ahmadzai, told the Press Association: "He left it here last night after he came round with his wife. He's on his way here now."
Mr Ahmadzai added: "I woke up very surprised. The police were here about 4am so I came outside and saw the car - they said it was in a hole. I thought 'There's nothing I can do' and went back to sleep.
"I just woke up again now."
Asked if his brother was angry or upset, Mr Ahmadzai said: "No, he knows there's nothing he can do. He just wanted to know if there was any damage, I'm sending him a photo now."
His brother had owned the vehicle for three or four years, he added.
Cleo O'Kane, 25, who lives opposite the sinkhole - which is around 3m wide and appears to be several metres deep - said police told her some residents might have to be evacuated.
She said: "I thought it was thunder - I heard a loud bang, but it was raining so much I thought it was thunder.
"It must have been around 4am. I woke up and then just went back to sleep - my window was open - then woke up at six this morning, came outside and there was a car in a hole.
"I've been here for eight years and have never seen anything like this happen."
She added: "Police said they don't know what's going on. They said the car is stuck on a gas pipe or a water pipe. They might have to evacuate all the houses.
"All the car is resting on apparently is a pipe, otherwise it would have disappeared."
The Metropolitan Police said they were called to the street at 3.23am on Thursday and discovered the car partially in the hole.
A police spokesman said no-one had been injured in the incident.
He added: "Officers are on the scene and there is a cordon in place. The local authority has been called and there are other agencies on scene."
A Royal Borough of Greenwich spokesman said: "Royal Borough of Greenwich officers are on site and are continuing to work closely with Southern Gas Networks (SGN), Thames Water and the police to ensure that the situation is contained.
"As an immediate measure, the road has been closed to traffic.
"We are ensuring that Thames Water and SGN are communicating with households at the scene. We will be issuing more information as it is received.
"The Royal Borough of Greenwich will always have an interest in the welfare of, and inconvenience to, local residents."