Epperstone, UK. February 22, 2016.

Veterinary physiotherapist Sally Hall has described the terrifying moment she got sucked into a sinkhole caused by a burst waterpipe.

The leak started in the small village of Epperstone at around 5am on Sunday – flooding streets, homes and businesses.

The 34-year-old said her Honda CR-V 4×4 is a write-off, and although Severn Trent were there an hour before her accident, they only put cones out after the lucky escape.

Sally, who lives with her doctor husband, Thomas, 33, said: “It was about 6.45am and it was still dark.

“I was going down Chapel Lane where I live when I saw what looked like about three to four inches of surface water over a manhole cover, bubbling away.

“As I’ve got a 4×4 I didn’t think it was a problem, but I did approach it with some trepidation.

“But all of a sudden the car just lifted and was dragged across the road. It moved away from me and we were just gliding.

“It was such a shock. It landed on its side and water started flooding in, the car horn was going off and the doors were locking and unlocking intermittently.

“The water was coming in over the bonnet and makings the electrics go haywire.”

The car sunk into the street where the 24in-diameter pipe was based and needed about a dozen engineers and specialist equipment to remove it.

The Chapel Lane, Epperstone, resident said: “My Lurcher, Poppy, who hates water, was in the car too.

“I had to go to the passenger side door – as the driver side was face down in the hole – and time opening the door between the car locking and unlocking.

“Poppy was really good, thankfully. I put the lead on her and managed to pass it to someone outside, who guided her out then I crawled out after her.

“The water was only up to my feet by the time I got out, but very quickly it was up to the dashboard and all my things were floating around in there.

“I tried to save as much as I could. If I hadn’t have managed to get out when I did, and it kept filling with water, I don’t think I’d have been quite so calm.”

Water supplies to thousands of homes across south and east Nottinghamshire were cut off.

Mrs Hall is now talking to her insurance company.

She said: “I’ve had to cancel work on Monday because my insurer won’t give me a replacement car unless my car is being repaired.

“They’ve also said they won’t pay out until I prove it’s Severn Trent’s fault.

“This was definitely preventable as Severn Trent were called out at 5.45am by my neighbour who heard a loud bang.

“But they only put cones in front of the sinkhole after my car had driven into it.”

 

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