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. Say wah?

    Mike – the person who posts get a life needs to get a life

    May 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tuumba

    It's Obama's fault..no, its the illegal immigrants's fault..no, it's because the Lakers won..no, it's because.........

    May 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    I love it when a natural or other disaster happens and people respond with, 'Follow God' or 'Trust in the Lord'. I would think that if they were 'following God or trusting in the Lord' it wouldn't really matter now, would it?

    May 11, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    You're right Tracy. Let's get back to the Earth sucking entire families down like oysters. This is a tragedy that could have been avoided. They should have moved to Toronto last summer. Again, condolences to the family and friends.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo

    Well Tom, Robins pretty much the only one with facts, and the one that's making sense on this page. Pretty sad that you pick the sane one to pick on. That's Tom the oyster moron.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NHMojo

    US Army Corps? This happened in CANADA. More likely the work of C.H.U.D.s

    May 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Donna

    I have had dreams of my house being swallowed up by the ground.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Helen

    Mike, if you had a life, you wouldn't be reading these posts. And who said anything about Armagodon??....We reap what we sow.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Concerned

    How off topic we have gotten. I often read the comments on the news stories just to see what people are saying, and it always degenerates into name calling and theology bashing...No matter what the news.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. alumette

    Life on this magical planet is unpredictable as it is a spectacle of wonder and a show of tragedies, all at the same time. One thing is certain : everything changes constantly and we should appreciate the good things as bad things may lurk around the corner. Take nothing for granted and you will die a wise person....in the mean time please be kind to nature, the environment, the animals and other humans.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. realone

    I agree that the earth is a changing planet. Too many people on it! For the religious inquiries/fanatics-maybe what the earth needs is a cleansing-mankind needs humbled. Way over due.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Ya know what's sad Jo? To have been on a blind date with you. You could make Howdy Doody frown.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    maryvegan, thats NOT how sinkholes work.

    They are a result of the gradual dissolving of rock (such as limestone) by water. They have nothing to do with "draining swampland". The bedrock dissolves, crumbles, and all the loosely organized sediment on top of it falls into the newly formed space.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kashmir

    they're dead, people. get over it

    May 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. uki

    yeehaw!!! let the fun times begin... good god it will be great when sinkholes and mother nature start swallowing whole cities. 🙂

    May 11, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
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