Tempe bus trapped in hole caused by water main break

TEMPE, AZ - Eleven people were rescued from a city bus Wednesday after it became trapped in a sinkhole caused by a water main break.

According to Tempe officials, the water main break happened Wednesday morning near Apache Boulevard and McClintock Drive.

Tempe police and firefighters were able to get all 11 passengers off the bus. No major injuries have been reported.

A Tempe police officer was able to get passengers off the bus through a side window.

Two tow trucks were called in to help remove the bus from the sinkhole, but according to Tempe Police Sgt. Michael Pooley, a crane was being called in to assist.

Katelyn Brewer works across the street from where a back wheel of the bus sank below the pavement. She said she was worried for the passengers.

"People need to get off really fast in case something worse happens," she was thinking.

Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley said the bus driver saw the water in the road and tried to avoid it, but the street collapsed under the bus.

"From the surface, it looks like a small, shallow hole. But in reality, it could be a deep hole where someone can drown in there very easily," Pooley said.

ABC15 crews on the scene reported that firefighters went door to door checking on residents and flooding damage.

Water was up against the garage doors of some homes and some residents were using towels to try to keep water from coming into their houses.

A motel owner told ABC15 he's got water damage from the break.

"My beds, I don't want them to get wet because they're expensive," said Mitt Rohit, whose family owns the Paradise motel.

So far it hasn't been determined what cause the break, but authorities say it is probably due to the age of the infrastructure.

Northbound and southbound lanes of McClintock Drive are closed in the area. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area and find another way home.

Apache Boulevard is still open. Light rail operations have not been affected.

Check abc15.com and ABC15 Mobile for traffic conditions

 

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