Large sinkhole swallows Christchurch rubbish truck

Author
Megan Harvey,
Section
Christchurch,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 27 November 2018, 7:45p.m.
A Waste Management rubbish truck after it plunged into a Christchurch sinkhole caused by a burst water main this morning. (Photo / Matthew Ryley)
A Waste Management rubbish truck after it plunged into a Christchurch sinkhole caused by a burst water main this morning. (Photo / Matthew Ryley)

A Waste Management rubbish truck was swallowed by a sinkhole in Christchurch after a burst water main flooded the road this morning.

Resident Matthew Terrance Ryley, who was there during the comical incident told the Herald: "It's the third time [the water main] had blown but this is the first time someone has dumped a truck in a hole."

Ryley woke up around 6am this morning when his noticed sewage throughout his house on Peacock St after a water main burst.

He and his flatmates then went outside and sat on the fence, taking in the scene of the flooded street and all the other neighbours chatting amongst themselves and the emergency services. Then the unexpected happened.

The truck could not be reversed out of the hole. Photo / Matthew Ryley
The truck could not be reversed out of the hole. Photo / Matthew Ryley

"It was rubbish day and the truck came up, one side of the street absolutely fine, both of them, there was the green and the red waste trucks," Ryley said.

"I turned my back and went inside and I heard this sort of thud and a whole lot of revving of an engine. I went back outside and the truck was in the hole with its ass in the air.

"He tried the reverse the truck out of the hole, but there was no way of getting the truck out of that hole easily."

The driver then got out of the truck and presumably called someone at Waste Management.

"I think he [the driver] was in a bit of a shock, it would have given him a hell of a fright," Ryley said.

"It would have happened very fast."

Residents eventually told the truck driver to turn the truck off as the wheels were still spinning, causing it to sink to the point where water was going to get in the exhaust.

"It wasn't looking good, there was a bit of steam floating out" Ryley said.

"He [the driver] got a fair ribbing from traffic management and the neighbours."

At that point people were gathered around taking photos of the sinking truck.

The Christchurch resident also explained that surprisingly the sinkhole wasn't there to begin with until the truck collapsed into it.


Residents said a few cars had driven across the area without incident this morning before the truck plunged into the sinkhole. Photo / Matthew Ryley

Residents said a few cars had driven across the area without incident this morning before the truck plunged into the sinkhole. Photo / Matthew Ryley

"There had been cars that drove across it this morning, and they drove across it fine, but they are a lot lighter than a truck," Ryley explained.

"But of course the truck went to drive over it and it just caved.

"There was a lot of silt coming out of that hole. There was mud of days."

Ryley said this isn't the first time the water main had blown in the street.

"I think after the Earthquake they replaced the sewer line but they only replaced the bits of the water main they needed to."

An Environment Canterbury spokeswoman said an incident response team member was on the street on Tuesday morning. They were providing clean-up support, with the aim of reducing the impact on the stormwater network.

City Care is leading the response, she said.

 

Early Edition

Early Edition

5a.m. - 6a.m.