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Sinkhole to close downtown St. Louis street for two weeks

ST. LOUIS —  A section of sixth street in downtown St. Louis may be closed for up to two weeks due to a huge car swallowing sinkhole.

A couple visiting the gym early Thursday morning came back and saw a crowd standing where their car was parked.  They went to see what everyone was looking at.  It was their Toyota Camry, at the bottom of a sinkhole.

The gaping hole, about 20 feet deep and 8 to 10 feet across, takes up the southbound lane of north sixth street, between Olive and Locust streets. An eight inch water main ruptured, gushing water around the car. It is unclear if the main broke before the sinkhole collapsed or after.

Authorities say there should be dirt and fill all the way up to where the asphalt is on the roadway. But, for some reason, all of the dirt and fill had eroded where the sinkhole happened.

The director of St. Louis Public Utilities says it appears a water issue had something to do with the erosion. But, at this point, the cause is not known.

The Toyota was lifted out of the hole at around 9am. No one was injured. Car owner Jordan Westerberg is grateful. He says it could have been worse

"A little shaky. I don't know, but its crazy. I'm just glad we weren't inside. It looks like the windows were broken, it is like half full of water now," said Jordan Westerberg.

Curt Skouby, the Director of Public Utilities for the City of St. Louis, says once a communications company crew finishes its work here the city will begin filling the hole with gravel. He says the city will also replace the entire water main under sixth street between Olive and Locust. That section of sixth street will likely be closed for the next two weeks. The city is still trying to determine what caused the street to collapse.