May 12th, 2010
08:46 AM ET

Family dead in basement after sinkhole swallowed home

The bodies of a Canadian couple and their two daughters were found late Tuesday in the basement of their house that plunged into a massive sinkhole, CNN affiliates reported.

"They were found very close to one another, some of them lying on the couch in the family room in the basement, where we were told that they'd be," said Michel C. Doré, Quebec's associate deputy public security minister, who was on the scene, told CNN affiliate CBC.

Yvon Desrochers, uncle of homeowner Richard Préfontaine, told the CBC on Tuesday feared his nephew and his family were in the basement watching the Montreal Canadiens-Pittsburgh Penguins hockey playoff game Monday night when the ground gave way beneath the home, about 40 miles northeast of Montreal.

Besides Préfontaine, those in the home were his wife, Lyne Charbonneau, and their two daughters, Amélie, 12, and Anaïs, 9.

The family’s dog was found alive – caked in mud – in the sinkhole earlier Tuesday.

The hole was about 500 yards long and forced the evacuation of five other homes in the town of Saint-Jude, in a rural area near the Yamaska River.

While there was no official word on the cause of the sinkhole, geologist Judith Patterson told CNN affiliate CTV that the sinkhole looked like a kind of landslide known as a “lateral spread.”

The region has soils known as “quick clay” that can liquefy, leading to a landslide or sinkhole, she told CTV.

"These clays, they're stable when they're undisturbed. But once they're disturbed, then they become very hazardous," she told CTV.

Post by:
Filed under: Canada
soundoff (578 Responses)
  1. CR

    you can talk to God. it's called prayer.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Ashlyye, you can meet the true and living God and His son Jesus Christ by being baptized in the Catholic faith, repenting of your sins and following the 10 commandments. Then Jesus Christ will take up residence in your soul. You will feel his living presence within you and direct your paths. He will change you like you could never do yourself. That is how you know He is real.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Izapp2

    I love how the self centered unbelieving atheist love to jump all over anyone that mentions God in news stories like this, It simply shows their mentality.
    How can anyone say that God caused this? Are you on that level? I think not.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. everyone loses

    hed die ald nos gie bug h lives!

    May 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. prankster

    Center Stage-
    And the devil disguised as a snake spoke to Eve-Noah built an ark complete with two penguins-and Adam and Eve had two children,both sons ?????????????????????.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Izapp2

    @ prakster

    Read the Bible before you make remarks pertaining to it. Making statements like you did only shows your ignorance.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. prankster

    Tell us how he found the 2 penguins, o.k. babe?

    May 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Snarkasaurus

    For you weaklings claiming that non-believers will pay later on in the fires of hell–well, you're not being very good god-fearers, are you? In fact, you're being really BAD Christians or Catholics. Your god will take issue with that and will punch you in the face really hard. Or send you to the fire pit to which you were referring earlier. I guess what I'm trying to say is shut the heck up and go read about evolution. There's no such thing as magic.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don

    I'm on my lunch hour, but I've seen from the scrolls that you people have been at this all morning long. GET A JOB!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Izapp2

    @ Prankster

    When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died

    May 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Moral of the story:

    watching TV is bad for your health.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. prankster

    The longer I live the more amazed I am at what people can bring themselves to believe!
    Hey-like John Lennon said "if it gets you through the night it's alright, it's alright" Be happy.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lafleur

    My deepest condolences to the families. May God bring consolation to their family members. You are in my prayers.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lafleur

    Mes plus sincères condoléances aux familles. Que Dieu apporte la consolation à leurs membres de famille. Vous êtes dans mes prières.

    May 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mary

    You just never really know do you?

    May 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39