The grand opening of an International House of Pancakes in Meridian, Mississippi, didn’t go exactly as planned on November 7. While guests were trying out the restaurant’s cuisine a few days after the IHOP’s opening, their cars were being consumed in a sinkhole in the parking lot.
The sinkhole, about 50-feet wide “swallowed” 14 to 15 cars, according to police department reports received starting at around 7:15 p.m. local time.
“We received a call of vehicles going through the pavement at the IHOP in Meridian,” Patrol Lieutenant Rita Jack with Meridian Police told NBC News. “When we arrived on scene, 14 to 15 vehicles that we could see had fallen roughly 30 feet into the ground.
“We expect that there may be more and that they may fall further into the ground because there is only mud underneath,” Jack added.
Rain in the forecast could hamper the recovery effort, but officials expected to start moving cars within three to five days.
“The sinkhole is huge,” said Jack. “If you imagine a football field cut in half, it is every bit of 50 feet wide and about 100 – 125 feet wide. We are talking 14 to 15 vehicles. It is very scary. We are so fortunate that no injuries were sustained. We are gonna keep it under observation until we know that it is clear and safe.”
According to NBC affiliate, WLBT, the IHOP opened earlier in the week.
Sinkholes causing massive damage, including destroying cars, are not new. The video below explains the phenomenon.