Sinkhole: bus bogged down to its axles

2013-01-16 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — The wet season has not been good to Eastern Cape roads.

First a giant sinkhole over 50 metres wide closed the N2.

Yesterday, a manmade hole all but swallowed an Algoa buss. Pulling over at the usual bus stop, the driver had a sinking feeling as his bus subsided into mud that went over its front wheels.

It would have been funny, ­only the sinkhole had been “fixed” earlier by municipal workers.

Residents said municipal workers last month dug a hole about five metres deep to repair a burst water pipe.

Work stopped over the holidays and heavy rains had since liquefied the soil with which the hole had been filled.

When the bus arrived on Monday to stop on what seemed solid sand, it went down like the Titanic. No one was injured.

Elsa Barnard of Algoa buses said the passengers were picked up by another bus. The bogged-down bus was towed to a workshop to assess the damage.

The opposition Democratic Alliance has defended the municipality. Francois Greyling, a DA councillor in Despatch, said the workers were not negligent, but had immediately investigated the cause of cracks on the road in December. They found a a burst pipe, which they dug up and repaired.

During the festive season, the workers could not tar the hole, but this part of the job would now proceed, he said.

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