Dump truck falls into giant cave-in on street

February 8, 2011 3:56:31 PM PST
It was a sticky situation to say the least for a city work crew trying to fix a pot hole when their truck was actually swallowed.

This all happened Tuesday morning at Dumfries and Balmforth in the Meyerland area. City work crews are fixing a broken water main, then they'll patch up the road. But before then, another city work crew got a big surprise when they showed up to patch up the street.

What started out as a quiet morning in Meyerland ended up with a big noisy surprise.

"We heard a loud boom and we heard the helicopters, so we came to check it out," said neighbor Janice Rubin.

That loud boom heard by the neighbors was a 7-ton dump truck filled with asphalt, halfway down a gaping hole in the street. No one was hurt, but the street had caved in because of an underground water main break.

"The preliminary information is that the water line underneath, which is not detectable from the surface, caused the subsoil to dissipate," said Alvin Wright of the City of Houston Public Works.

Neighbors gathered at the intersection of Dumfries and Balmforth to watch crews first take the asphalt out of the truck, then try and try again to pull the dump truck out of the yawning hole.

The neighbors say they'd been complaining about this patch of road since last week.

"I called 311 to let them know they were having a problem over here and they need to come out here and address it, and it's gotten worse and worse every day," said neighbor Jack Taub.

Finally with the help of heavy machinery, a city of Houston tow truck dragged the dump truck out of the hole. But this was more than just a spectacle for the neighbors, it left some questioning the safety of the roads.

"Just drove over that this morning taking my kids to school. Pretty scary," said neighbor Terri Caress.

We are told by City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck that many of Houston's streets are slated for major overhaul and rebuilding in the next two decades, but she could not tell us offhand when the Meyerland neighborhood might see those improvements.