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. Melanie 2

    The white knight of the heaven region hath cast upon his hatred into the heart of Melanie.

    The dark lord is near your heart and you must repent. Afterall, it was not a statement my dear but a question. Your hate is strong and the dark lord with tail and fury shall strike you to the ground with a rear naked choke!!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    Sinkholes are not an uncommon occurrence in some parts of Quebec. In the 70's there was a town that heard what sounded like a river running under their homes. Shortly afterwards 40 homes collapsed into a large sinkhole.

    Odds are if they were there at the time there would have been no where to run to in time.

    Feel sorry for the friends and family.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Colin Garnes

    Tim Tebow SUCKS!!
    oh wait.. this isn't yahoo sports.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff S

    By the way, sinkholes typically have by natural means, though there are, of course, human intervention causes for sinkholes as well. It would likely be obvious what the cause was if this was the case this time.

    This isn't what happened here, but there are chains of huge gas chambers in the Earth's crust which, were something to happen to break them open, or release the trapped gasses, causing collapse, the empty spaced filled in from above would potentially be enough to sink a whole continent. Probably won't happen, but it could. It is what it is...

    May 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nhsays

    its all because of that new super collider....

    May 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sewer

    My ex-wife must live near-by-she opened her mouth & then the house is gone–go figure.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Melanie 2

    And the lord sayeth unto the: THe holes in the ground shall open wide and swallow ye homes of little faith and negative equity.

    Luke 867:5209

    May 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Melanie 2

    And the lord sayeth: Ye of faith will cause Mountains out of moleholes allowing the dark lord into your broken heart causing hatred among the masses.

    I am taking credit for that one cause it is pretty good


    May 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. suzshaff

    May 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    This does prove one point. If it is your time to go, nothing is this world can stop it. You can move to another county or down to the basement, but death will find you.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jean

    To the guy in Florida re: sinkholes. Florida is one of the worst states to have sinkholes. I used to live there and I know. Pray for the family left. Those in the sinkhole are gone. I'm not a Bible thumper, but keep looking at the news.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BrookeLockart

    It's a real shame that people are possibly dead and several comments are making jokes about it.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ralph

    Brandon: That's just mean and nasty. Shame on you. A family likely has died, tragically, in this unfortunate accident, and all you can do is attempt an impish mockery of it? Grow up. I hope that others treat you with more respect when it's your time.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wierd Amos

    The family could market this event as a the world's largest Dump Hole. They could put a Porta-Potty above the ground and charge $1 to come in and fill the hole. This could be a real money making venture that could last many years until the hole is full. The family that lived there could be considered to be interred. (It is a shame and a real tragedy if the couple and their 2 kids perished. But people must get on with their lives and make the best of the opportunities that come their way)

    May 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. breeze

    heheh stinkholes

    May 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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