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Couple pulled from truck seconds before it fell into massive sink hole

metro.co.uk

Oct 25, 2018 4:04 PM

This is the nail-biting moment an elderly couple were plucked from their truck just seconds before it was swallowed by a sinkhole.

Footage shows people desperately forming a human chain to drag Maria da Silva, 73, from the passenger side of the sunken car in Brazil.

Her 76-year-old husband, Osvaldo, was pulled from the driver’s seat just 30 seconds before the Nissan Frontier plunged deeper into the crater on Tuesday afternoon following heavy rains.

They both got away with only minor cuts and bruises as their car practically disappeared from view in a main road in Vicente Pires.

Mr da Silva said: ‘The traffic lights turned green and I inched ahead carefully because the water flowing down the road was strong.

‘There was a line of cars ahead of me and I could see the water on my side of the road was very high.

‘I thought about pulling into the left lane, but a car was coming towards me. I tried to stop but the current was too strong underneath. So I tried to manoeuvre through the rushing water and accelerate, but it was impossible to get out and I began losing control.

‘That’s when the road beneath us suddenly gave way and we realised we were falling backwards. It was terrifying not knowing if we were going to get out alive.’

Maria da Silva, 73, and her husband Osvaldo, 76, were pulled from the car just second before it plunged into a sink hole  (Picture: FocusOn News)
Heavy rains had caused a sudden flash flood, but brave people came to their rescue (Picture: FocusOn News)

Businessman, Carlos André, 32, was walking past with a few of his employees when he heard a crash and saw the car being engulfed.

‘I saw there were people trapped inside and I yelled at everyone to help me to get them out, before it became a major tragedy,’ he said.

Forming a human chain, he stretched across the rushing water cascading over the truck before reaching for the passenger door and yanking the terrified pensioner out.

Thirty seconds later, the truck is filmed crashing further down as the opening widens, leaving just the front wheels and the upturned bonnet protruding out of the hole.

Mrs da Silva said: ‘It was a huge scare. All I remember is the rain was very heavy and we didn’t see any sign of a hole in the ground. The next thing I recall is two people pulling me out of the car.’

Thankfully the pair escaped with only a few cuts and bruises (Picture: FocusOn News)

Traffic continued to pass close to the scene, despite the dangers of the crevice increasing and more areas of the water-logged road falling away.

Antonio Coimbre, infrastructure and public services secretary, blamed roadworks carried out on underground water and sewage pipes, along with stormy weather, for the sudden erosion of the surface.

An excavator from the construction company working on the repairs in the area was used to hoist the vehicle from the hole.

Police are investigating the incident and have closed access to the road until further notice.

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