A New Jersey sinkhole has swallowed up a man working on a forklift truck on Monday, in the latest terrifying sinkhole to hit the nation. In this case the man survived and was later rescued, but the incident has again highlighted the issue of sinkholes.
An emergency call was made to 911 on Monday afternoon reporting that a man and his forklift machine had been swallowed up by a giant hole that opened up from underneath them in an East Rutherford warehouse.
However, unlike some recent sinkholes that have opened up in Florida this year, this hole was more open and not as deep, and once emergency crews arrived they were able to locate and pull out injured worker, Danny Rodriguez from the hole.
After being dragged out of the 10 foot deep sinkhole, he was immediately rushed to a local hospital for treatment and to be checked over. It is reported that he suffered some serious back injuries in the fall.
Some reports have described that the man was in fact lucky he was not killed by the forklift truck, which did not topple over but crashed down in a straight up position, meaning he was not crushed by the massive machine. Although he suffered back injuries, his condition is not life threatening.
Police Chief Larry Minda told The Record, "Fortunately for the operator, the forklift went straight down and didn't tip to the side because then he could have really been hurt."
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, rescuers found a mysterious oily substance in the hole, however, this was later identified to be the cooking oil and soy sauce the forklift operator was transporting when the sinkhole opened up.
AM Express Freight administrator Sarah Entena has said, "He's the best forklift driver we have. The forklift protected him. And thank God for that."
The East Rutherford warehouse will be closed down until the sinkhole can be made safe. An assessment will have to be made what repairs are needed and the complex will only be reopened once everything has been made safe again.