NEW YORK — According to the United States Geological Survey, about 20% of land in the United States is susceptible to sinkholes. But a gaping sinkhole that opened up on a New York City street and swallowed a car was definitely unusual.
On Thursday, the sinkhole engulfed a Toyota on a street located in the Maspeth neighborhood of Queens, WNBC reported. The car belonged to Thupten Topjy, a livery driver who would have been entering his car as the sinkhole opened, the television station reported. The Thanksgiving holiday changed his routine, and Topjy was not injured.
“I feel lucky today,” Topjy told WNBC.
He was, however, distraught after his means to make a living were damaged, as the front end of the Toyota fell deep into the street.
Topjy’s brother, Wanzdi Sherpa, happened to be walking his dog when the incident occurred.
“I’m very shocked right now, very shocked because this was right in front of my house,” Sherpa told WNBC.
Sherpa said all he could see was the back part of the SUV sticking up from the sinkhole, the television station reported.
City Councilman Robert Holden shared photos from the scene on Twitter, WCBS reported. He said police and firefighters were on the scene, along with NYC Water and National Grid, to ensure the sinkhole didn’t affect any critical infrastructure.
Police said no one was inside the SUV at the time, according to WPIX. It is unclear what caused the sinkhole, the television station reported.