First Florida, then Kansas. Now, sinkholes have crossed the border and have wreaked havoc in Montreal.
A massive crater has swallowed a bulldozer and a man in the Canadian city Monday morning. The sinkhole gave way on a busy street in the city’s downtown core. Initial reports say a man was inside the machine when the hole was formed, CTV News reports.
The construction crew, working on the site at the corner St. Catherine Street and Guy Street, was preparing to do work when pavement gave way, exposing a giant sinkhole, Global News reports. The man inside the bulldozer was transferred to a hospital and his injuries are not serious.
After the immediate area surrounding the hole was closed by police, authorities say they are expanding the perimeter in case more pavement could give way, according to Global News.
The sinkhole isn’t the only construction accident to plague the city Monday morning.
A 32-year-old man was killed after he was struck in the head by a large metal plate at a construction site near Montreal’s Bell Centre at 8:20 a.m., the Montreal Gazette reports.
Police said a 12-foot metal plate was being maneuvered when it broke and fell off the piece of equipment that was carrying it. The man, who was walking by the site, was directly hit and most likely died on impact, authorities said.
In a separate part of the city, a construction site near a children’s hospital was briefly closed after police received reports of a suspicious package. After the site was searched and nothing was found, the area was reopened, the Montreal Gazette reports.
Ironically these events took place on the first day Montreal construction workers are back on the job after an annual government-mandated two week vacation given at the end of July.
While the Monday morning events have spurred local radio station CJAD to beg the question: “Is Montreal falling apart?” The city has experienced turmoil for months.
Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay resigned last year after an inquiry revealed he was involved in widespread corruption among city officials, contractors and members of organized crime. In June, the city’s interim mayor, Michael Applebaum, was arrested on 14 corruption-related charges and later resigned, CBC reports.
Laurent Blanchard was elected as Montreal mayor in a secret ballot in late June by the city’s executive committee. Blanchard will remain in power until city holds its planned municipal election in November.
"What's ahead, for me in particular, is a great challenge,” Blanchard said when he assumed office. "It's also breathtaking, exhilarating, scary. However, I can console myself with the reminder it's only for four months."