Massive sinkhole swallows 2 cars in Chatsworth, prompting rescue as storm pummels LA County

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Sinkhole swallows 2 cars in Chatsworth, prompting rescue
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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.

CHATSWORTH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- 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 Chatsworth and landed on top of another vehicle that had already fallen in. The incident was reported about 7:15 p.m. in the 11000 block of Iverson Road 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.

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 sustained only minor injuries and were transported to a hospital for evaluation, according to the LAFD.

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

In the northwest L.A. County neighborhood of Val Verde, near Castaic, the driver of an SUV was trapped amid swift-moving floodwaters.

Shortly before 7 p.m., county firefighters responded to the intersection of Hasley Canyon and Del Valle roads, where they used a ladder to reach the 70-year-old man behind the wheel.

News video from the scene showed rescuers pulling the man out of the SUV on the passenger-side. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was not apparently injured, officials said.

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