Couple in Florida Rescued as Their Minivan Gets Swallowed by Large Hole in Road

A couple inside a minivan have been rescued after the vehicle began sinking into a large hole caused by a water main break in The Villages area of Sumter County in central Florida.

The incident was spotted by David Harris, a local resident living nearby, who noted his wife had driven past the site of the water main break just moments before the van began sinking into the road, WESH Orlando reports.

"I went inside to get her and to show my wife, and by that time the water was halfway up the motor, the hood," Harris said.

The couple inside the van were reported to have been rescued safely with the help of "good Samaritans" nearby, according to WPTV.

There were no reported injuries from the incident. Both the road and the water main break were reported to have been repaired.

A water main is the underground pipe that brings water into homes and other buildings and they are usually found beneath the street in residential areas.

"If a hole or crack develops in the pipe, the water will typically find its way to the surface. Because the water main is under pressure, water will continue to flow until the break is repaired," the Manheim Area Water and Sewer Authority explains.

"Water main breaks can happen for a variety of reasons...most are likely to occur during extreme weather conditions. It is most common to see system leaks and main breaks when the weather is frigid when both air and water temperatures drop," according to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

"Air temperature at or below freezing causes the ground above a pipe to freeze—increasing external stress on a pipe. Hot, dry weather can also take a toll; ground shifts and the increased volume and pressure can also stress water mains," it adds.

Last month, South Florida reported an increase in water main breaks, with Fort Lauderdale having seen 38 water main breaks through mid-October and 8 sewage spills. But the Florida Department of Environmental Protection revealed a significantly higher number, at 25 sewage spills in Fort Lauderdale through October, according to Local 10 News.

Back in October, a boil-water order was issued by city officials in Fort Lauderdale across the downtown area due to water contamination fears following a major water main break along the New River, the SunSentinel reported.

The precautionary order advised all water used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, washing dishes and for ice should be boiled for one minute.

Earlier this year in July, a state of emergency was declared across Fort Lauderdale as the entire city—nearly a quarter of a million people—were left without water following a water main break, NBC News reports.

Water main break sink hole NYC 2016
Traffic passes by a sinkhole caused by a water main break in Manhattan, New York City in August 2016. Getty Images