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Water main break creates sinkhole, swallowing cars in South Los Angeles

Posted at 7:57 PM, Dec 21, 2018

LOS ANGELES — A water main break created a sinkhole Friday, swallowing cars and flooding streets in South Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said a 24-inch cast iron water main broke around 5 a.m. near Towne Avenue and East 55th Street.

"We can't shut it down fast. On this shutoff, there's 12 valves involved. You just can't shut it down completely. You have to keep some water in the system. It's just a slow process," Eric Shavly from LADWP told KABC . "Whatever the cause, it could be corrosion, age - we don't know at this moment until we dig down and see the actual damage on the water main."

A pickup truck that fell into the sinkhole also cracked a gas line, causing gas and water to be shut off to the area. 41 people were evacuated during the emergency, KABC reported.

After four hours, crews gained control of the flow.

The cause of the water main break was unclear.