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. Raine

    No one has mentioned that the possible cause of the sinkhole could have been from a LONG ago excavation for salt. Read up on that subject.....very interesting. Sinkholes from salt removal in the earth have been happening for centuries and killing humans that long, too.

    Frightening thought to be buried alive................including for the poor little doggie.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. victor

    I am SO sick of having to listen/look at some stupid 30 second commercial to get to watch a 1 minute junky news video. I rarely look at cnn.con anymore for this reason, and I NEVER buy from the advertisers.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Reality

    Heard on the Canadian radio station this morning that the daughters were found dead also.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Craig

    I am from Ontario, Canada – province that borders Quebec. It was confirmed this morning that all 4 members of the family have been found dead in the basement. They were watching the Montreal Canadians vs. Pittsburg Penguins hockey game at the time. Very sad indeed, community in shock.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bill Fitzgerald

    wow this life is fragile. And for all who think these are not the latter days, the signs of the times are all to obvious. Read the Book of Mormon and then follow the Prophet and find peace in this life.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ellen

    We've had a couple of sinkholes open up on our property in New England this year. Nothing like this story, however. Parts of our yard are on fill and a couple of sections were recently filled in the past few years. We didn't live here then, but the dirt delivery guy seems to think maybe they used stumps as fill. They opened up after the huge, huge amounts of rain that we've had for the past two springs.

    I'd be interested to know, how old is the house, what was there before it was housing? Are there any large water mains nearby? Too bad this article doesn't answer any of those.

    And in closing I'd like to blame the following groups of people....;)...And pray for the people who are trapped and their families and neighbors.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. June Bug

    Not only is this story sad and unfortunate, but it is awful to lose a home and (hopefully not) loved ones. It's not funny, and it's not battleship!!

    May 12, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. KBomb

    Are they fracking around there? Heard Big Oil had moved into Canada to Frack the f– out of it. heehee. Love that word! Fracking! for those who don't know, fracking is the new ingenious technique to loosen oil way way way below the surface by injecting extremely toxic chemicals into the ground, thereby breaking up the rock down there and releasing all that good stuff. This, in Texas, and elsewhere has been known to cause sink holes (along with a colorful array of horrendous toxic health hazards).
    but of course theres no connection because we're all poor, teabagging, uneducated morons who believe what the big corps tell us. like good peons.

    May 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GM

    I think was either the terrorists or that damn sasquatch.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dude

    mary vegan is an idiot. Sinkholes occur when you get sediment deposition by water taking debris from under the source of the affected area. If any thing sink holes will happen when the water table from under neathe the round has been removed and not replaced. Or when mechanical weathering occures in colder areas in which the water that might get in between the pavement will freeze causeing the water to expand cracking the road causing more and more water to seep in and carry the road away. This is all caused by irbanization of areas not just the Army of Engineers. Im sure their knowldege is far supeior than yours since i know my knowldege is due to the fact that im a 7th grader and know that.. drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrarraararara so in a nut shell MARY VEGAN OF ILLINOIS IS AN IDIOT OF THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeah

    May 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sink hole cult

    Ok, this is for all the morons saying Canada is a real country. Canada is not a country, it's more like a retarded little brother that America is ashamed to have. I honestly don't feel sorry for these canadians, because Canadians are like Gingers "They aren't real People".

    May 13, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Humble

    2012 ... ?
    Has the land been inspected for construction purpose ? Are Canadians engineers capable ? ... or was it an ilegal business ,corruption Government ?
    My heart goes to the Family in it... But believing in life after, they're better than us. Just hope they've not suffered... God bless.

    May 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nat

    I can't believe all the stupids post/comments/joke on this tragedy, it's hard to believe that some humans have no compassion for others.

    My prayers and thought for the family.

    May 13, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Herpes

    Lol Mormans... please do not read the book of Morman like Bill suggests. That stuff is just as crazy and made up as the magical fairy tales in bible. anbody who believes the stories the bible are real should be instantly omitted into a psyche ward.... because your crazy.

    Think of how much better off the world would be if we actually put effort into fixing our problems instead of praying to our imaginary gods to fix them for us.

    Religion is just a complicated way of saying your afraid of death.... truth hurts doesn't it.

    May 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Zimi

    It's only safe in Heaven. Make sure you go there when it is your turn.

    May 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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