Local News

Sinkhole swallows 3 cars on Southeast Side

A sinkhole swallowed three cars in the South Deering neighborhood on Chicago’s Southeast Side early Thursday morning.

One person was taken from the hole, at 9600 South Houston Avenue, to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

The fire department responded to the scene around 5:30 a.m. when two cars were inside the hole. A third one slide into it after crews arrived.

Since the hole opened, it has expanded to about 40 feet wide. There is fear that it will get bigger as it continues to rain.

Crews with Chicago’s Water Management Department say they are pumping water out of the catch basins right next to the sinkhole to alleviate the pressure in hopes that it will prevent the sinkhole from growing.

Ald. John Pope tells WGN that an 8-inch water main was leaking through the night, and that leak coupled with the weather and soft ground caused the sinkhole.

On Thursday afternoon, crews were working to remove the cars from the sinkhole. Then, they will repair the water main leak.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

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49 Comments to “Sinkhole swallows 3 cars on Southeast Side”

    JeanSC said:
    April 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Sinkhole? Are you sure? Did a degreed geologist examine it and tell you it's really a sinkhole? All I see in the photo on the sides is unconsolidated sediment. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show the bottom. A real sinkhole involves chemically-weathered bedrock. See ISGS' Geobit 7 for the straight dope on sinkholes. ISGS also has a map of karst in Illinois and sinkhole locations. I think the closest one on their map is quite some distance south. I'm hesitant to believe "sinkhole" coming from media, because reporters have called too many cave-ins "sinkholes" for the scientific cachet. USGS isn't helping matters now.

      not the worst said:
      April 18, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      you're the worst.

        Jeff said:
        April 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        he Britta'd it

        person said:
        April 18, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        haha… awesome :)

      pagan69 said:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Looks like storm water sewer collapse to me. However we won't have to worry about maintaining anything till Rahm gets his 200 parks and river walk.

      Steve said:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      It's a hole that sunk, thus, a sink hole

      shawn said:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Your comment is irrelevent. Quit trolling the internet.

      I.C. Idiots said:
      April 18, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      at least…doh!

      Joey C. said:
      April 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      You sound super smart Jean.

      AntiTroll said:
      April 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      It's a hole in the ground and cars sinking in. Stop trying to be politically correct.

      Frank said:
      April 18, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      Nerd

      PaytonB said:
      April 19, 2013 at 4:38 AM

      You're going to get different answers from different geologists. As one, I would say yes, it counts as a sinkhole. Given the very short descriptions on both the Geobit site and USGS.gov, I see how it could be confusing for you. Karst topography is characterized by sinkholes, but a sinkhole is not necessarily limited to karst. Please do not confuse the two.

      Holly said:
      April 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Sink holes can happen here, I have seen two form in the last few years in my home town of Lake Zurich. Im not a geologist, just making an observation.

      energy said:
      April 23, 2013 at 2:37 AM

      I agree poor road construction. It seems like tar on dirt

    facesofmagic said:
    April 18, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    @JeanSC, so are you saying it's faulty road construction? "aint nobody got time 4 dat"

    Eric said:
    April 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Media is on the scene at the time, reporter watching it happen, and no video?

      Ssy said:
      April 18, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      There is video.

    junior said:
    April 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    its not cottege grove nore southdeering, its Slag Valley neighborhood

    Bill said:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Southeast side of what? did not reach my news, until I visited the Internet…
    Seems like sinkholes appearing everywhere…
    Stay safe ~ unless the ground fades away…

    truegrit said:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    If A = B and B = C, then it's a duck. It's a hole in the ground, the cars sank into it, therefore, it's a sinkhole.

    keeping real said:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I wonder if those cars have insurance?

      Sam said:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      It's Chicago.

      bubba said:
      April 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      I wonder if full coverage covers sinkholes?

      Fed up said:
      April 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Doubtful! It's the s.e. side of chicago!

    Dan Piazza said:
    April 18, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Visit the Jovial Club for lunch while visiting sinkhole

      Muriel said:
      April 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      I'm sorry, is this a cheesy road trip destination now?

    Dan Piazza said:
    April 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Yes you can get cheese on that burger

    bumbless said:
    April 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I wonder if the car on the bottom was a red pinto station wagon filled with Nazis?

      Kip said:
      April 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Awesome! A la Blues Brothers movie.

    GOFFIN said:
    April 18, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    chicago is going too HELL !

    Gmacman said:
    April 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    The deforestation of America is causing the soil to become void. Trees solidify the soil by giving the soil something to hold on to. No trees = no oxygen and faster erosion. It's just the like crust slipping away, and no trees to hold it down

      PaytonB said:
      April 19, 2013 at 4:39 AM

      You're thinking landslides and such, not sinkholes. A sinkhole may form whether or not there are trees. The processes involved reach deeper than the roots of a typical tree.

    spoolie said:
    April 18, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    bees eat and bark at the moon.

    Jackson said:
    April 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Sinkhole? When I saw Chicago I thought the store was stinkhole. Me bad

    STINKHOLE said:
    April 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    One sinkhole and 30 workers on the scene. for what? probably on overtime .$$$$$$$$$$$..

    dave green said:
    April 18, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    It's a conspiracy I tell you! It's not a sink hole! Those cars know something! I just know it!

    Louis DeFilippi said:
    April 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Apparently it is a 99 year old water main that broke. It is not a sinkhole in the geological sense… it is soil eroded away by rushing water leaving a hole.

    diana chaney said:
    April 19, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Happy more people didn’t get hurt

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