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. Mike in NJ

    The End is Nigh!! But, Worry not, fellow pirates! For Those who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Pirates) will be protected! So put on your eyepatches and your prosthetic hooks, cook up some Spaghetti and Meatballs, and let his Noodly Appendage touch you (in a GOOD way.) For his touch will cleanse you of Impurity, and you will be Made Righteous!

    Seriously now, I hope the famly is safe. For those who think God causes everything in your lives, Get Over Yourselves. None of us is that important, and you are egregiously arrogant for thinking it. And for those who think it's Mother Earth, read a science book occasionally.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sweet

    Lord..O' ..Lord...We give you our hearts and minds so that you may make us in the likeness of your Image. We pray so desparately since we have heard 1 story about stink holes that you do not stink hole our home as well. LORD..'O' ..LORD we ask that you keep our 4 walls safe and sound and from getting swallowed by the nether regions in the belly of the fire. LORD keep us safe from oil and sink holes, volcanos, television, teabaggers, books, movies, lettuce, new ideas, catholic priests, global warming, Toyota, and of course Obama!!!!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John K

    Bush's fault.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sweet


    ANd yes all the funny posts were from me!!! Peace..seriously. I am not all bad but you guys make it so easy. I love these stories because the irrationale nuts hear ONE thing and go crazy. Live long and prosper


    May 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Curious

    Why is there a headline but no article?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gillian

    The comments on this board are pathetic. This story is horrific, and an entire family has probably been wiped out and you people are joking about it? Do you also joke about the families lost in the flooding and tornadoes in the U.S.?
    BTW I'm Canadian and I feel just as badly for the tragedies happening to families in the U.S. and around the world as I do for the people in my own country.
    To all the people on this board who are spending their time laughing, joking, insulting etc – grow up and get a life, and be glad you're alive, and think about what you would do if a tragedy happened to YOU.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Reggie

    Sweet: If all of those immature, infantile posts originated from you, then, I'm sorry to tell you, it is you who is the loser - wasting your time writing idiotic, disrespectful, and inane comments in order to tickle your own callous, anti-social sense of "humor" is pathetic. Recommendation: Try to become appropriately socialized.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. juggle


    May 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Honolulu resident

    A natural disaster...maybe one should learn about the earth their house sits on? Even Hawaii has sinkholes...see the info from this website ""

    Ewa Sinkholes Preserve
    On the island of O’ahu, the 'Ewa sinkholes cradle treasures that speak to the prehistory of Hawai'i. Jagged, eroded holes in a fossilized coral reef more than 120,000 years old, this 6-acre preserve – just established by the developers of Campbell Industrial Park, encouraged by the Conservation Council for Hawai'i – showcase sinkholes that are all that remains of thousands once found on the ancient reef rock between Wai’anae and Barber’s Point. It is hoped that this will site become part of the state natural reserves system.

    Inside the sinkholes are the bones of birds that became extinct prior to 1778. These include the moa nalo, geese, crows, owl, sea eagle, gapers, flightless railes, a petrel, and Hawaiian honeycreepers. The sinkholes have been used as an educational resource for many years as researchers and students seek to learn more about these extinct species.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Herpes

    All this happened because Candians were at one time soulless cave dwellers. As years went by, more and more made their way to the surface to become day walkers. This angered their mighty king Jean Claud Van Dam, because the cave dwellers do not qualify for universal health care and he has a nagging back injury from filming of the movie Blood Sport. He found that this Canadian family had a large supply of icy hot in their home and summoned a sink hole in order to take conrol of the stockpile. The family is safe in the land of Cavonia, which is approximately 167 miles North of Narnia. LOL

    May 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. michelle

    my prayers go out to the family... as for these comments i haven't laughed this hard in a while

    May 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gillian And Reggie 2

    Gillian And Reggie,

    Ye are filled with hate from the Dark Lord's hand. Ye shall burn in a lake of fire for judging your fellow man. The White Knight knows all and hath told ye to not judge ye fellow man yet ye have chosen the path of darkness.

    For you adulturies to your common man..SINKHOLES FOR YOU!!!!

    Genesis 1:1

    May 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. spehnec

    If there is a just god who intercedes in the lives of human beings, he wouldn't have had the earth swallow up a presumably innocent family in Canada, he would have opened up a much larger sink hole under the Vatican.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jacques

    I live not far from this town and I must say that the outpouring of sympathy is amazing. For those leaving kind words and thoughts they are greatly appreciated. For those of you leaving disparaging posts or think this is funny you are merely demonstrating your own lack of mental health. Americans seem amazed when confronted by the fact that many in the world see them as ignorant fools. That is certainly not true for the majority of Americans but the vocal minority like the people who think this is funny perpetuate that stereotype.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GRIZ

    Lake Occechobie in Florida is one BIG SINKHOLE that you can see from SPACE.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
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