Sinkhole closes part of Canadian capital's downtown

By Reuters   June 9, 2016 | 12:22 am PT
A large sinkhole closed down a portion of Canada's capital on Wednesday (June 8) and forced the evacuation of businesses just a few blocks from the country's parliament.

CBC video showed water flowing into a hole that stretched across what is normally a busy downtown Ottawa street.

"There was a big puff of smoke, dust or something coming out from the sinkhole and then what happened was that the roadway underneath the loading zone gave away and the minivan just sort of listed, tipped and fell into the sinkhole," said Andre Da Costa who witnessed the sinkhole appearance.

The smell of gas in the area prompted the evacuation of nearby buildings, the City of Ottawa said on its Twitter account, including the Rideau Center shopping mall, which is owned by Cadillac Fairview, a unit of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

The area has been under construction for work related to Ottawa's new light-rail transit system. The city of Ottawa said it was investigating and asked residents to stay away from the area.
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