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Woman narrowly escapes sink hole

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">A giant sink hole opened on a street in Fishtown this morning.</span></div>
January 28, 2009 2:31:10 PM PST
A giant sink hole opened on a street in Fishtown this morning. Water gushed from the broken main.

The 6-inch main apparently broke when a sewer line collapsed around 8:00 a.m. this morning.

Moments before the street caved in, Deanna Hatter was moving her car from the street to her driveway.

"I didn't see any cracks in the road or nothing; I didn't expect it. You heard a whoosh, it all went down. My pavement went down and you just see the water coming out of the pipe like a waterfall," Hatter said.

The water department came quickly and shut off the flow.

However, by the time it stopped, the damage was done.

A column supporting the Market-Frankford EL was left sitting right at the edge of the crater.

SEPTA has been keeping a nervous eye on it, watching for signs of movement.

For a time, they suspended train traffic and bused passengers between 5th and Berks Streets, which was in response to an electrical issue unrelated to the sinkhole.

By 2:00 p.m., service was back to normal, as long as the column doesn't move.

Phone and gas lines under the street were also affected, which means, this busy stretch of Front Street will be closed for a while.

"We have a number of city divisions, as well as other utilities, who have to come in and have to repair their lines before we can close up the excavation," Ralph Henry of the Philadelphia Water Department said.

In the meantime, Deanna Hatter was thankful for her grandmother's premonition. Out of the blue, she called Deanna this morning and told her she should move her car.

She did.

The water main is fixed and water is flowing again, but it seems there is a broken storm drain in the area, so the sinkhole is filling up with water again.

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