Hole opens in Guatemala neighborhood, 3 missing

GUATEMALA CITY Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:56pm EST

1 of 4. A giant sinkhole that swallowed several homes is seen in Guatemala City February 23, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Three people were missing on Friday after a 200-foot-deep hole opened up in the middle of a Guatemalan neighborhood, likely due to a burst sewer pipe.

"It sounded like a bomb was dropping. Boom!" said Carlos Gutierrez, 58, of the crater, which measured 130 feet in diameter.

The crater appeared in the capital's San Antonio neighborhood on Thursday night. Authorities evacuated hundreds of people on Friday fearing more land could collapse into a fast-flowing river of sewage below.

The missing people had lived in a house that fell into the hole. Two bodies showed up about a mile downstream.

Neighbors said the ground had been shaking for weeks after a huge sewer pipe burst, making the ground underneath the houses unstable.

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