Sinkhole forces evacuations

March 11, 2008 3:58:46 PM PDT
A sinkhole has emerged at an apartment complex in the Lehigh Valley.

Chopper 6 HD flew over the complex on Bridle Path Road, Hanover Township near the city of Bethlehem Tuesday morning.

A water main broke around 4 a.m., creating the sinkhole between two apartment buildings. Police have evacuated about 50 people. There are no reports of injuries.

The enormous sinkhole estimated to be 50 to 60 feet across triggered a significant gas leak and the evacuation of two apartment buildings. It has swallowed up air conditioning equipment for several of the units making at least 12 individual units unsafe to live in for now..

Engineers are coming to inspect the buildings. Geologists are also coming in to inspect the scene.

Some people are being allowed back inside to get their belongings, but they are not going to stay in the apartments tonight.

Many of the displaced went to a Red Cross shelter.

Investigators don't know what triggered the cave-in.

Apartment management downplayed any connection between the leaky 6-inch pipe and today's collapse, suggesting instead, last weekend's rains may have been the culprit.