The article below was originally published by the Daily News Egypt on September 4, 2009. Audio slideshow above produced to correspond to the written story.
CAIRO, Egypt – A 10-meter wide section of Geish Street in Abaseyya collapsed Thursday due to work on the new underground metro line in the area.
No injuries were reported, but two parked cars fell into the 15-meter deep pit at the time of collapse, according to official news agency MENA. Five other cars were rescued before falling, the agency reported.
The underground tunneling drill of the third metro line cut through weaker soil and burst through the neighborhood’s main water line, which was eventually sealed, after the sinkhole was completely filled with water.
Engineers raced to fill the sinkhole right after the incident.
Cairo Governor Abdel-Azim Wazir has ordered the evacuation of surrounding buildings, pending safety inspection.
An employee for the joint venture, who asked to remain anonymous because the companies had not authorized comment, told Daily News Egypt the collapse would set them back.
“Of course it will cause a delay. They can’t continue working on the Metro until they fix this hole. And this is not just a problem, it’s a serious problem.”
The National Authority for Tunnels said underground water was prevented from reaching the insides of the metro’s tunnel work.
In an official statement, the Authority said the Cairo governorate and the Ministry of Interior coordinated efforts to secure the area and guarantee the resumption of tunneling and drilling for the metro line.