2 cars swallowed in Los Angeles sinkhole, prompting rescue, as storm pummels CA

The sinkhole in California was roughly 15-feet deep, officials said

BySophie Flay, Ashley Mackey KABC logo
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Sinkhole swallows 2 cars in LA, prompting rescue
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2 cars were swallowed up in a massive LA sinkhole, prompting a rescue as storms continue to pummel California.

LOS ANGELES -- As a relentless storm wreaked havoc on roadways throughout Los Angeles County on Monday night, a massive sinkhole in one neighborhood swallowed two cars, leading to a dramatic rescue by firefighters.

A pickup truck drove into a large sinkhole on a street in Los Angeles, and landed on top of another vehicle that had already fallen in. The incident was reported about 7:15 p.m. in the Chatsworth neighborhood, and prompted a rescue operation by 50 Los Angeles firefighters.

Two people were inside each of the two vehicles, which were swallowed by the 15-foot-deep sinkhole. The two occupants of the pickup truck were able to escape on their own.

SEE MORE: California weather: Storm death toll rises to 16 as flooding, mudslides prompt evacuations

The initial rescue attempt of the two occupants of the bottom vehicle -- a teenage girl and a woman -- "involved bringing ground ladders and laying them down to span the hole so crews could try to reach the victims but this was not successful," the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

"Meanwhile, the road continued to slough, and, although firefighters had tried to stabilize the vehicle, it was shifting and starting to roll within the sinkhole," the statement said. "With the entire road compromised, firefighters had to make an immediate rescue to save the lives of the two people trapped."

Firefighters used an aerial ladder to position the rescuers over the hole, and a rope operation lowered a firefighter who secured each victim and hoisted them to safety.

The girl and woman suffered only minor injuries, and were taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to the LAFD.

The road involved will remain closed for an undetermined duration while city agencies evaluate it and determine the repairs required, officials said.