Car swallowed by sinkhole in Perth suburb as burst water main leaves dozens without running water

A car was submerged in a sinkhole in a western Perth suburb on Sunday night, as a burst water main left around 60 homes and businesses without water.

The Water Corporation has been working to fix the issue on Centro Avenue in Subiaco since the call out came around 6.30pm on Sunday night.

Locals watched on as a parked Mercedes-Benz, which was directly above the sinkhole, quickly became submerged under water.

An adjacent block of units was evacuated as a precautionary measure amid structural concerns.

Subiaco resident Kai Lovel’s apartment was one street behind all the action.

The Mercedes was almost completely submerged by the floodwaters. (ABC News)

“I was looking down at Centro Avenue last night from my balcony and saw an absolute torrenting river of water running down the street,” he said.

“The car basically disappeared before they could turn the water off, we couldn’t really see the car, but you could see the windshield wipers and headlights had come on.”

He said among the people watching the scene was the owner of the car – who was a university student, studying with some friends.

A gray car partially submerged in a hole in a suburban street.
The student’s Mercedes was almost completely underwater. (Supplied: Kai Lovel)

He said the same water main had been repaired by Water Corp just weeks prior, and offered his own theory on what happened.

“What happened last night is that there was so much water coming out of the water main, just flooding down that street, that it loosened up the dirt where that car was,” he said.

A Water Corporation spokeswoman said last night’s weather made it difficult to make a full assessment of the building at the time, but the strata engineer was meeting with the utility to make sure the units were safe for residents to return.

“Residents in the building next to the sinkhole were moved to alternate accommodation yesterday evening,” the spokeswoman said.

A torrent of water cascades down a suburban street.
This Subiaco street was flooded after a burst water main sent a torrent cascading down Centro Avenue. (ABC News)

“Traffic management is on site and road diversions are in place, and motorists are asked to please show caution in the area.

“We would like to sincerely apologize to those affected for the disruption.”

The spokeswoman said Water Corp had been able to implement an interim solution, restoring water to all but three buildings.

There were no reported injuries.

Road diversions on Centro Avenue remained in place while authorities repaired the damaged main.

It is unclear whether the burst water main caused the sinkhole – or vice versa.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing.

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