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'We were astounded...' Damage from the massive sinkhole is still being assessed

The Terre Haute Fire Department is looking at damages to one of their fire trucks after it was almost swallowed by the massive sinkhole in downtown Terre Haute.

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 6:52 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Crews have been making progress in repairing the sinkhole at the intersection of 4th and Ohio streets.

They now know the cause of the sinkhole is because the sewer system is more than 100-years old. 

"We found a 3-foot by 5-foot hole where the bricks had just collapsed into the sewer," Brad Utz the director of inspection said. 

Friday morning workers were attempting to repair the sewage line and fill the hole with cement. This puts them one step closer to covering and repaving the road.

Meanwhile, mechanics at the Terre Haute Fire Department are working on repairs of their own. 

A city fire truck was driving over the sinkhole as it opened. The chief mechanic said the back of the fire truck got caught on the edge of the sinkhole as it collapsed, then bounced out. 

"Luckily for us, it did not go in there. That would've been catastrophic to the truck and possibly injured the crew," Bert Hay, chief mechanic for the Terre Haute Fire Department said. 

Repairs on the truck are going to take a little longer. Hay says right now they are waiting on a part. That could take up to two weeks. 

After that, they have to have a final inspection before the truck can be put back into operation. Hay said that won't likely happen until October.

"Just to make sure that us, and the crews, have peace of mind," he said. "That we know that truck is still intact." 

Hay said when the captain of the fire truck called him, he thought maybe it was just a big pothole. It wasn't until he got to the scene when he saw what has really happened.

"We were astounded at that large hole...wow," Hay said. "Then concerned obviously for the truck." 

Hay said right now, they're looking at about $7,000 worth of repairs. 

Workers at the sinkhole fixed the leak in the sewer line and laid cement Friday morning.

They're letting that set for the weekend and will be back to work Monday. Utz said the roads should be reopened by Wednesday. 

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