Large sinkhole forces evacuations in Bethlehem, Pa.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WPVI) -- Several homes were evacuated after a massive sinkhole opened up on a Bethlehem street.

The hole was discovered Wednesday morning near the corner of Elm Street and Hamilton Street.

The earth opened up around 3 a.m., swallowing a utility worker from UGI and sending natural gas into the air.

Bobbi Rogers awoke to a fire horn and a fire truck out front of her home.

"All of sudden we see the guys - they were great, these guys were really fantastic - coming up, knocking on all the doors: 'Get out of the house, get out of the house, get out of the house.' Oh my god. 3 in the morning," Rogers said.

Bethlehem firefighters evacuated two blocks on Hamilton Street.

They credit an alert newspaper delivery person for noticing the smell of natural gas coming from a crack in the roadway

Bethlehem Fire Dept. Lt. Kevin Landis says, "Most of the residents have been allowed to return unless they are still getting gas readings in their house. There's a lot of gas that's trapped underneath the blacktop and the concrete."

Some displaced residents were taken to a local middle school as utility workers fixed the damaged water line and gas line.

Resident Lenor Slavikosky says, "Every department - UGI, the water company, the fire department, the police department - they did one fabulous job."

As of Wednesday evening three homes remained evacuated.

As for the UGI worker who fell into the sinkhole, we're told he was evaluated and is doing just fine.

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