It was just after 4PM when fire-fighters were called to the scene of a water leak on the public highway in the Brussels borough of Anderlecht that is believed to have caused the sinkhole.
“Our squad drove into the street and just when they thought they had arrived, their engine seemed to fail. The rear of the vehicle had fallen into a sinkhole that was full of water due to the leak” says Jo Maesen of the Brussels fire service. “There was an enormous hole measuring five metres by five. It was three metres deep”.
The fire service’s own crane wasn’t powerful enough to return to engine to terra firma. A crane from a demolition firm was required and duly arrived under police escort.
“There’s some damage to the bodywork, but underneath everything seems to be OK” says Maesen.
“The fire-fighters had quite a shock and were quicker out of the vehicle than when there’s a fire!”