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. God

    my bad

    May 12, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. bbarry1

    At this point in time the cause of the sinkhole unknown. Considering that it happened in Quebec, Canada it is very certain the US army corp of engineers is not responsible.

    May 12, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. rachel

    Exactly bbarry1....I guess Mary in IL doesn't know her geography! Maybe when she blamed the US Army corp of engineers and call them "dumb and dumber" she didn't realize just how dumb that made her look. Mary, perhaps since iron is an essential component of proteins involved in oxygen transport, there is a lack of iron in your vegan diet and you should take a supplement so there is plenty of oxygen headed to your brain 🙂

    May 12, 2010 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. yahyahgal

    All four family members have been confirmed dead. This is a terrible thing for this Quebec family. May they rest in peace.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    Did the lady who accused the US Army Corp of Engineers happened to notice that this incident happened in Canada??? This is a tragedy that probably is the result in the confluence of several events such as excessive rain, poor soil, a broken water main, etc. May this family rest in peace.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. How About a Relevant Fact or Two

    How about a relevant fact or two. The better story would be for someone to investigate the cause of the sink hole. People die all the time from mishaps but it would be beneficial to the reading public to know the cause of the sink hole.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Louis

    This was not a sinkhole. It was a landslide caused by an excessive amount of rain over the weekend. There are many landslides in that area of Quebec due to an abundance of a gray-blue clay that has settled here before the Champlain sea retreated. A large area of Quebec and western Ontario (including Ottawa) has these conditions. No one to blame here. People need to be aware of danger areas before building!

    May 12, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. chuck

    Mary,,, the Army Corp of Engineers,,, didnt build anything in Canada, so this sink hole doesnt have anything to do with them

    Further, some of the greatest engineering design and construction has taken place because of the Corp so dont bad mouth all of their projects without getting the facts!

    May 12, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jackblob

    A family of 4 dies in this natural disastry and some here are making jokes?

    May 12, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dan

    It's actually 4 people who sadly passed away. The two parents and their two young daughters. They were watching the Montreal Canadiens vs Pittsburg Penguin match in the basement.

    Very sad. All our prayers to the family.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. you're lame

    mary posted hours ago...

    i don't think she is repeatedly returning to see if people are responding to her post...

    May 12, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. ron hextall

    effin' habs can eat it.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. pam

    I am sickened by the ignorant and heartless comments being made here, on such a tragic story. Grow up, people! And be thankful it wasn't your family....

    May 12, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Deedee

    It was a nice house.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. AlphaOmega

    2012 you been warned.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
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