A big sinkhole has eaten up the busiest part of a downtown street in Ottawa.
The Rideau Street sinkhole appeared on Wednesday in an area that's been under heavy construction. The city is building an underground light-rail system station in the area, while the Rideau Centre — the shopping centre right next to the sinkhole — has been under large renovations.
The sinkhole has grown since it first appeared, stretching all the way across the downtown artery. It's about a three-minute walk from Parliament Hill.
Some reported seeing smoke coming from the hole, and others have posted video of the sinkhole quickly filling with water.
It has even claimed its first victim — a minivan.
Nearby buildings have been evacuated and the city is urging people to avoid the area.
The power is also out in the downtown core.
The sinkhole even has its own Twitter presence.
City officials held a press conference in the early afternoon, saying the site has been secured, but that they're unsure what caused the sinkhole. They said there are no reported injuries. Mayor Jim Watson said he's unsure when Rideau Street will re-open.
This isn't the first — or even second — time Ottawa has dealt with sinkholes. In 2014, a sinkhole appeared on nearby Waller Street, where crews were also working on the underground light-rail system.
Two years earlier, a sinkhole swallowed a car on a highway leading out of the city.
Emma Loop is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. PGP fingerprint: 4A39 DD99 953C 6CAF D68C 85CD C380 AB23 859B 0611.
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