A sinkhole spanning the entire breadth of a residential street has opened up in south-east London.
The hole – which measures approximately seven metres by seven metres and is four metres deep – emerged on Tuesday evening when the road in Bexleyheath started cracking.
Police said they were called to Martens Avenue just before 9pm and that nobody had been injured. Firefighters also attended the scene.
Neighbours reportedly said a motorcyclist tried to jump the hole before falling in and running away. Pictures of the scene appeared to show a motorbike inside the sinkhole. Bexleyheath council confirmed that a motorbike was found but did not comment further on the claims.
The council said police remained at the site overnight and that an investigation with Thames Water was under way. There did not appear to be any damage to nearby homes, it said, but the area remained cordoned off and some residents had lost access to their homes and some services.
“We have fenced the area off and the road is closed to through traffic,” a Bexleyheath council spokesperson said. “The council and Thames Water are investigating to establish the cause of the collapse. We will continue to be involved to ensure the safety of the site and its repair. This is likely to take some time due to the nature of the soil, depth of the hole, and the need for specialist equipment.”
Mike Stevens, who lives on a nearby street, came across the sinkhole on his way home. “When I turned into the road I thought: what the hell?” he told KentOnline. “Thankfully, I stopped and parked up.”
While he was parking he said he saw a motorbike “whizz past” without seeing the hole. “He tried to jump it but the bike ended up in the hole. The guy then ran away,” he said.
A Met spokesperson said: “Police were called to Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath, shortly before 2100hrs to reports of a large sinkhole. Officers attended and road closures have been put in place. There are no reported injuries.”
The London fire brigade said it was called to the scene just after 9pm and had left by about 10.30pm after helping to make it safe.
Thames Water declined to comment.