Durham, North Carolina. 6th September, 2012

A North Carolina law student was nearly swallowed by a sinkhole this week when the vehicle he was driving suddenly dropped eight feet into the ground.

Rajiv Thairani, 27, was turning around in an empty lot next to a Bojangles Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits in Durham, N.C., near his Duke University campus, on Tuesday when he struck the sinkhole.

“My initial reaction was that the ground underneath me had given way, like it had collapsed,” Thairani, originally from San Francisco, told ABC News.
The gaping hole wasn’t visible from the street and hadn’t been marked off, but Thairani says he wasn’t the first to encounter it.

“This apparently happened to someone the night before, a truck driver,” he told ABC News. “His tires got stuck but his truck [an 18-wheeler] was too big to go in.
“They called 911 and put up caution tape but by the next day the caution tape had blown away and poles had fallen over so it was no longer visible.”

Thairani wasn’t hurt in the incident, but the car he was driving, which belonged to his girlfriend, had to be pulled out of the ground by a tow truck.
The South was hit with heavy rains and storms this week, as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac passed through. Officials closed the lot and are investigating whether the extreme weather caused the sinkhole.

Thairani wasn’t hurt in the incident, but he fears the vehicle — which was his girlfriend’s — might be totaled. A wrecker had to pull the car out of the ground.

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