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Transit bus with passenger on board swallowed by massive sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A Port Authority bus with one passenger on board was swallowed by a massive sinkhole Monday in downtown Pittsburgh.

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The bus fell into the giant sinkhole at 10th Street and Penn Avenue just before 8 a.m. Witnesses said the bus was at a red light when the street gave way, and the bus plunged into the 100-foot-wide, 20-foot-deep hole. A car also partially fell into the sinkhole.

The woman driving the bus and a female passenger both managed to get off the bus and through the front door, Port Authority officials said.

The passenger was treated by paramedics, taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for neck pain and released, officials said. The driver was not hurt.

Public safety is working to determine exactly what caused the sinkhole, but when it happened, a 10-inch water main broke, sending water shooting everywhere.

Around 9:45 p.m., the bus was removed the sinkhole. Officials said it will take around 3 hours to remove the crane.

The same crane company that removed the train from the Station Square derailment will be removing the bus.

There was concern that the road could collapse further.

"(The) problem that we're experienc(ing) is that we have to lift that Port Authority bus straight up because we have a Duquesne Light electrical vault involved, and we have several gas lines involved, and we don't want to create any further problems," Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.

Hissrich also said they were having serious problems with the infrastructure because around the sinkhole, there are Comcast and Verizon fiberoptic cables.

"If the cables do become disconnected during the lift, it could mean a problem with communications throughout the tri-state area," Hissrich said.

Port Authority police Chief Matthew Porter said authorities were "really lucky here that pretty much no injuries happened."

Children from a nearby day care were evacuated to another location while the bus was removed and repairs were made.