New Jersey sinkhole swallows forklift; man escapes with minor injuries

05/22/2013 11:12

A New Jersey sinkhole opened up under a man operating a forklift, similar to this one, causing him to plunge into the gaping hole.A New Jersey sinkhole opened up under a man operating a forklift, causing him to plunge into the gaping hole, forklift and all, NBC New York reported May 20.

The forklift operator was literally swallowed up by the sinkhole when the floor of the warehouse he was working in gave way in East Rutherford, N.J., on Monday. The sinkhole measured 8 feet deep and was 40 feet wide, authorities said.

The man was fortunate, sustaining only minor injuries in the sinkhole because he was actually partially protected by the forklift he was operating, police said. He was treated at a hospital and released.

While sinkholes seem to be occurring more frequently around the nation, including in states like Florida, where the ground outside opens up, it’s not clear what caused the floor under the loading dock in the food storage warehouse in New Jersey to collapse into a sinkhole and swallow up the man and his forklift.

New Jersey building inspectors are now determining whether the entire warehouse is safe because of the sinkhole. Examiner

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