Cave-in devours cars in Mississippi IHOP parking lot

Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-08 16:19:05-05

A massive hole opened up in the parking lot of a newly-completed IHOP in Meridian, Miss. on Saturday evening, trapping a more than a dozen cars and leaving a number of businesses without water or power.



At about 8:15 eastern on Saturday evening, WTOK in Meridian, Miss. reports that customers at the IHOP heard "a series of booms" before the restaurant lost power. When customers went outside to investigate, they found a massive hole where the parking lot once was. The hole, which is reportedly 50 feet wide and 600 feet long, swallowed an estimated 15 vehicles.

The hole also ruptured a water line, leaving surrounding businesses without running water. No injuries were reported.



The IHOP opened earlier this week.

The cave-in was originally believed to be a sinkhole, but Meridian Public Safety Director Buck Roberts told the Meridian Star on Sunday that the event was not a sinkhole. Sinkholes occur when underwater aquifers dry up, leaving a hollow space.

"You can call it what you want, a cave-in or whatever, but it is not a sinkhole," Roberts told the Star.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.