Firefighters rescue Henrico woman from sinkhole

Posted at 10:28 PM, Apr 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-26 06:25:54-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Henrico firefighters have left yellow tape around a West End sinkhole after a homeowner says Wednesday that it was about as big as a Coke can -- but that it seemed to grow by the hour.

The hole is now 30 inches in diameter, and 4 ½ to 5 feet deep. But it expands to about 16 feet across underground, going towards the foundation of the home.

Firefighters rushed to Brigham Road in Henrico's West End where Howard Young's daughter was trapped. A neighbor said loose dirt had filled in around her up to her waistline and that her father was shouting for help.

"She looked in the hole and slipped in,” said Young. “I couldn't get her out."

When Henrico firefighters arrived they made quick work of the rescue.

“In about 5 minutes we were able to extricate her but she has been transported to a local hospital as a precaution," said Battalion Chief Stan Langford. He offered advice to homeowners if they have sinking soil in their yard.

"If you have one that's popped up, be cautious,” Langford said. “We are going to have a public utilities guy to come out and look at this one."

The hole in Young’s yard makes him nervous. "It's very dangerous,” Young said. “I got to fix it as soon as possible."

He says images of the sinkhole in Orlando, that had swallowed a home and killed a man, have him on edge about his own property.

"Man I’m not going near that hole,” he said.

Building inspectors will be on scene Friday morning trying to figure out why the sinkhole developed and how they can stop it from growing.