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Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Southern Water van plunges into huge 'sinkhole' in street in Murston in Sittingbourne

10 March 2014
by Hayley Robinson

The driver of this van found himself in a hole lot of trouble when he visited Sittingbourne to inspect a leak.

As the Southern Water employee reversed, part of the road collapsed underneath the offside rear wheel.

Luckily the man was not injured and the vehicle only suffered minor damage after the suspected sinkhole opened up in Ambleside, Murston.

The huge hole that opened up in Ambleside, Murston

The huge hole that opened up in Ambleside, Murston

Luana Spenceley was just leaving her house to take her two daughters to school when she was greeted with the unusual sight.

The 35-year-old single mother said: "I looked out the window and saw the van in the hole.

"I was like 'Oh my God'. Not long ago there was a hole that opened up on the motorway so I was worried it might be something similar to that.

"There are small holes all along the road, although they are only tiny ones."

This Southern Water van had to be pulled free by another vehicle after a hole appeared in the road

This Southern Water van had to be pulled free by another vehicle after a hole appeared in the road

The water company said it sent an inspector to the scene to repair a leak on a pipe under the footpath, which links nearby properties to the main water supply.

But it said the fault was not responsible for causing the damage to the road surface.

A Southern Water spokesman said: "The hole is believed to have been caused by a sinkhole under the road which residents tell us is built on a former ash pit.

"We arranged for the vehicle to be recovered and are pleased to report that both van and driver are fine.

"Our nearest water main is seven metres and would not have contributed to the sinkhole."


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But a statement from Kent County Council disputes the firms claims.

It said: "Following an initial investigation it would appear that this damage has occurred due to water scouring beneath the road surface.

"An ongoing investigation is taking place in conjunction with the water company to determine the exact cause and ensure that repairs are undertaken without undue delay."

The hole appeared under the van while it was reversing

The hole appeared under the van while it was reversing

In the meantime, barriers have been erected around the opening to prevent any further accidents.


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