A giant sinkhole estimated to be up to 40ft deep and 30ft wide has opened on a busy main road in Manchester.
The chasm opened on Mancunian Way on Friday afternoon and officials from Transport for Manchester are at the scene making the area safe so they can send an inspector in to examine it. A large cordon has been put up around the hole amid fears it is getting larger as cracks appear in the ground around it.
Manchester Evening News reporter Alex Hibbert tweeted these images from the site.
There's a water mains which is now pouring water continuously into the 40ft sinkhole pic.twitter.com/lV0qh2yIo8— Alex Hibbert-MEN (@alexghibbert) August 14, 2015
My initial thought was: 'this is not good' pic.twitter.com/Y0suzCpFrQ— Alex Hibbert-MEN (@alexghibbert) August 14, 2015
I've just been warned to get back as the 40ft hole on Mancunian Way is getting bigger pic.twitter.com/3zDnEGJgNh— Alex Hibbert-MEN (@alexghibbert) August 14, 2015
One workman has just pulled up and asked 'how many cars are in it?' Luckily the answer is none.— Alex Hibbert-MEN (@alexghibbert) August 14, 2015
I've been advised fresh cracks are appearing where Mancunian Way will eventually collapse pic.twitter.com/yg08cUkv6D— Alex Hibbert-MEN (@alexghibbert) August 14, 2015
I'm being told they're going to have to turn off the water simply in the area near Mancunian Way at Ancoats— Alex Hibbert-MEN (@alexghibbert) August 14, 2015
A spokesman for Manchester City Council told Huffington Post UK: "Motorists should be aware that part of the Mancunian Way is currently closed in both directions due to a collapse in the road caused by the extremely wet weather.
"The section affected is between the Macdonald Hotel near Piccadilly Station and Fairfield Street.
"It is thought a culvert beneath the Mancunian Way has been eroded by the heavy rain fall, which has cause the road above to be impacted.
"City council and united utilities officers are currently at the scene to assess the situation. Depending on the extent of the issue the road may remain closed over the weekend.
A giant #sinkhole has opened up on a busy road in Manchester.August 14, 2015
"Traffic will be diverted via London Road, Fairfield Street, A665, Hyde Road and Downing Street."
Police had closed the road on Friday morning due to flooding and the hole developed just hours later. One officer at the scene told Hibbert: "It could have easily have swallowed a car."
The Mancunian Way is currently closed in both directions. http://t.co/Z7LMmWhCy8— G M Police (@gmpolice) August 14, 2015
Water supplies are being shut off in the surrounding area as the damage is assessed.
There are fears the road - one of Manchester's busiest - could be shut for weeks.
Football fans hoping to watch Manchester City's game against Chelsea on Sunday are being urged to check if roads have been opened before they travel.