Imagine you’re sitting down at IHOP, devouring some delicious fluffy pancakes, when all of a sudden the ground begins to shake. No, it’s not indigestion from your butter-laden breakfast, rather the earth itself giving way. In just a few moments, a massive hole has opened in the parking lot, swallowing your daily driver and about 11 others. Check, please?
A scenario quite similar to this recently went down in Meridian, Mississippi, when a massive cave-in gulped down 12 cars in an IHOP parking lot. The Meridian Star states that a section of pavement about 35 feet wide and 400 feet long collapsed sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, plunging cars, trucks, and SUVs into a 15-foot abyss. Thankfully, nobody was in their vehicles at the time and there are no official injured to report.
While the source of the cave-in is still being determined by officials, Meridian Public Safety Director Buck Roberts was quite clear that the events were not caused by a sinkhole. “You can call it what you want, a cave-in or whatever, but it is not a sinkhole,” he said. According to local sources, a sinkhole technically occurs when an underground aquifer runs dry, creating space for the soil above to fall down. This was not the case here. Many theories point to collapsed storm drain piping as the cause for the cave-in, but engineers are still working to determine the incident’s origin. It had also been raining most of the day before of the collapse, reports say.
In the short video above via RightSideNews, you can see a variety of vehicles chaotically stacked over each other, mixed with red dirt and broken asphalt. The IHOP in question had just opened last week, and has since been closed for safety reasons until deemed stable.