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. Helen

    Your are right Concerned...I just stepped in it with the last comment ...Sorry. Shame on me. Still remains that we should all be concerned with the world events...no matter

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

    Let's start the cleansing with realone. Hey, do you like oysters?

    May 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. uki

    nyc sits on 7 fault lines... it wiull be awesome when they finally decide to move again. 😛

    May 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. unknown

    Our prayers are for this family.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BlackYowe

    Wow, this is crazy. I am so sorry.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cindy

    Very sad news. Hope they find them alive, however that doesn't look likely..

    May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mel

    This happened in my province (Québec). I gotta say, I really hope the family is alive... but also, man that sinkhole looks cool.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chad

    For all those out there fearing this is the end of the world, it's a good thing you weren't around doing th plague in Europe (Black Death), the last ice age, the eruption of the Caldera at Yellowstone or any number of other major events over the past millenia that make our current abnormal events look like just that, abnormal events! We as humans are so self-focused that we always seem to be believe that the most recent bad news we hear represents things as the worst they've ever been. What small minds we as a society have! The Earth is HUGE, the forces of nature are beyond our comprehension! And guess what, this planet has seen much, much worse! Let's stop trying to push our faith through fear of Armageddon and let's stop blaming every strange weather or geological disaster on the burning of fossil fuels. We live on an ever changing, dynamic planet and we need to understand that our 2000 year written history is a blink in time and we have not been around long enough to know that "normal" is for our Earth. RELAX PEOPLE!! And yes, do pray for the family that has been impacted by this latest disaster, it isn't funny at all as some of you calloused jerks seem to think.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Starwatcher

    Like all recent events you see in the news, this is a SIGN.

    Soon, our dread Lord Cthulhu will awaken from his centuries of slumber, rise to the surface, and bring doom to all mankind. ALL will be EATEN.

    All who read these words, you have only one hope: worship Cthulhu now and receive the only blessing He is capable of bestowing upon his followers. He will eat you first.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kingNate

    if they are to survive, they will need to battle the Morlocks; only then will they be safe to dwell underground

    May 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cristine

    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Humans take oil from earth, earth takes humans. Until people start to take care of this great planet, these occurrences will become more common.

    May 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Diane

    Megan in IL. This didn't happen in the US it happened near Montreal, Canada. It has nothing to do with our engineers, to my knowledge.

    Also, don't listen to the one mentioning move to FL. I hope that was tongue in cheek.

    Yes definitly pray for this young family, I just did.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom

    Starwatcher, you need help. Seriously, you sound like an idiot. "Signs" happen every day and there is no Lord Chimichanga. Wake up from your drug-induced state and join us here back on good ol' Planet Earth. The eating that's going to happen is the roast beef sandwich that I'm going to devour later. Although chimichangas are starting to sound pretty good...Condolences to the fam!

    May 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mobadthangood

    Sinkholes happen when a water table drops, goes dry or erodes the ground above it.
    God had nothng to do with it.
    If you live in Tornado Alley your going to get a tornado.
    If you live above or near a fault line your going to get earthquakes.
    If you live in Florida or the Gulf Coast your going to get hurricanes.
    If you live by the river your going to get flooded.

    God gave you common sense. USE IT!

    May 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rupert

    You people who think oil drilling is causing this are morons. It's called limestone, and underground aquifiers erode it. The american south sits on massive amounts of this rock, it's why we have so many caverns and so many sinkholes. It has nothing to do with drilling. If that were the case wouldn't the middle east just implode into the center of the earth?

    May 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
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