San Francisco

Firefighters Rescue Family in SUV Stuck in San Francisco Sinkhole

Officials say a broken sewer line caused the sinkhole in the South of Market District.

Firefighters rescued a family inside an SUV that got stuck in a sinkhole in San Francisco's South of Market District Tuesday.

Officials said a broken sewer line caused the 12 feet long by 5 feet wide sinkhole to form on Mission Street, between New Montgomery and 2nd Street. The sinkhole is 9 feet deep, according to officials.

No injuries were reported, but police said the family was shaken up by the incident.

The family was using a ride-sharing service to get transported to the airport when the vehicle got stuck at about 5:30 p.m.

Witness Monica Berini, a San Francisco resident, said firefighters threw a rope around the vehicle during the rescue.

The sewer line that broke dates back to 1875, according to Charles Sheehan with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

"Usually with sewer lines that old, age is likely cause of the break," Sheehan said.

The sinkhole snarled traffic and rerouted Muni service. Mission Street will remain closed between New Montgomery and 2nd Street through Wednesday.

Crews are scheduled to begin repairs Wednesday morning. Officials said water and sewer service to the area is not affected.

The sinkhole adds to San Francisco's sewer system showing its age.

In April, a sewer main break caused a sinkhole on Sacramento Street.

Another sinkhole appeared in Noe Valley in December.

SFPUC officials said it is working to replace the aging system.

"We have accelerated our repairs and replacement program a few years ago," Sheehan said. "We did a few miles a year and now we're doing 15 miles a year of sewer line replacement."

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