May 11th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

Report: At least 2 in family die after sinkhole swallows home

[Update 9:59 p.m. ET] Two members of a family whose home was swallowed by a sinkhole were found dead Tuesday evening, officials said, CNN affiliate CBC reports.

The condition of two other family members was not available. All four members of the family were found in the basement of the home, Michel C. Doré, Quebec's associate deputy public security minister,told the CBC.

[Update 2:49 p.m. ET] The mud-caked dog of a Canadian family has been found in a sinkhole that swallowed their home, but searchers have found no signs of the couple and their two daughters, ages 9 and 11, CNN affiliate CBC reported Tuesday afternoon.

Yvon Desrochers, uncle of homeowner Richard Préfontaine, told CBC he fears his nephew and his family were in the home’s 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.

[Posted  11:07 a.m. ET] A Quebec family of four was missing Tuesday after a massive sinkhole swallowed their home, according to reports from CNN affiliates.

Authorities said the home fell 30 feet into the hole when it opened around 9:30 p.m. Monday. A couple in their 40s and two children, ages 9 and 11, were believed to be inside, according to a report by CNN affiliate CBC news.

The couple’s vehicles were seen outside the house and efforts to reach them by cell phone were unsuccessful, authorities told the CBC.

"We tried to reach them by phone, because the father always wears his cellphone on him," Quebec Provincial Police Sgt. Ronald McKinnis told CBC. "The firefighters heard the cellphone, but they weren't able to [locate] it."

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 about 40 miles northeast of Montreal, CNN affiliate CTV reported.

McKinnis told the CBC that the hole was first reported by a truck driver whose rig fell into it Monday night. He suffered only minor injuries, McKinnis said.

Search-and-rescue dogs were being called in to help the search, according to a report in the Montreal Gazette, and a helicopter was circling the area looking for signs of movement.

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Filed under: Canada
soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. Groucho

    "My experience is that people are most likely to listen to reason when in bed."
    ~Marx 19:72

    May 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Krista

    @Bob I agree that this event was probably caused by a natural event that humans had nothing to do with, but your seem to be making a broader generalization. Yes, there have been mass extinction events, though they always had a major cause... Right now our planet is going through a mass extinction event, and the only cause is us.

    Also, we can certainly see that the planet has been in a stable state for a very long time, when it comes to climate, etc. as the species that are around now are adapted the planet as it is. When sudden changes happen on the scale of decades or even a century instead of thousands of years like most natural shifts do, then we should be alarmed and need to keep an open mind in regards to the fact that 6 billion plus humans with all our technology Can have an affect on this planet, both regionally and globally.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ye of lil faith

    God looked upon the masses and noted..."hey i got an idea to mess with these lil ba&$Tards" SINKHOLES FOR EVERYONE!!! WHOO HOO !!!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. alfuso

    I didn't think there were sinkholes anywhere BUT Florida!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Goldie

    One of you is a real idiot – the family is my ex husband's extended family, so keep your Quebec bashing for another time, some people are very hurt by the situation, perhaps maybe if it's ever your family, I can take a lesson from you and make stupid comments as well. Also like others have said, I am not sure why this is somehow the USA's fault – this happened in QUEBEC CANADA! Read a map it might help to locate where Quebec is. I don't think this is a sign that the world is ending, these things have always happened, it's just that we now hear about them thanks to the internet and 24/7 news

    May 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul in North Jersey

    The scariest part of this whole news item is (to me) the posters who actually
    believe that GOD would be involved in anything humans do, let alone one
    little sinkhole in Canada. I suggest you do pray for yourself, because you
    are creating your own little hell and you have to live in it. Just admit to
    yourself that you are powerless to control your own actions let alone your

    May 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Revelations

    The white night rose from a bed of thorn needes to rid the wretched of their illnesses. The blind can see. The crippled can walk. The white night noticed these changes and deemed them good. The dark lord of the firey regions deep beneath the soul of man invaded the healed so that he could one day cause sink holes.


    JOBS 6:23

    May 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sylvain from Canada

    to Mary vegan in illinois in ref to your post just so you know this is in CANADA not the US your Army's as you say dumb and .... have nothing to do with us in our country think it is time for people to stop pointing the finger if you want to point the finger wait till all the facts are in for now my prayers for the family and I hope they can be found.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Melanie

    Goldie – Exactly! thank you

    May 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brad

    Signs of the times! The second coming of the Savior Jesus Christ is continually drawing nearer. The righteous have no need to fear, so make sure your life is in order. The natural disasters will only get more common and more severe....

    May 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Goldie...dangit

    Divorce is a sin upon the white night and a sin worthy of sink holes!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Melanie

    To Southpark.... do your research! they are both americans from colorado.... you sorry excuse for a human

    May 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff S

    Patriot (#26) – Interesting questioning about warning signs. My guess is there could have been ample warning signs, but probably underground, where its not necessarily monitored (most likely not monitored regularly or at all in most areas.)

    As far as sump pumps being a bad sign, most of the housing in the U.S. has sump pumps. Basement drain tiles as the only form of protection from rainwater, etc., went by the wayside decades ago.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chuckp

    this is tragic for the the family to be sure, but remember this – the earth is as calm now as it has ever, ever been in its 4.5 billion year history. yes, there are sinkholes, but they are a very common and natural phenomenon. you are existing in a paper thin layer of habitability. just a few miles above you there is not enought O2 to survive – after that, vacuum of space that would cause you to explode. just a few miles below you there is liquid rock that would vaoporize you instantly. our incredibly thin crust floats on a sea of lava while the incredibly thin atmosphere protects us from the deadly UV radiation from the sun. it is amazing we are alive at all, but yet here we are. one sinkhole is nothing –

    May 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Krista

    All I can say to those who believe God did this is...

    Your God is mean, and not worthy of worship.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
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