‘There was this noise and it just opened up’: Bexley sinkhole swallows up width of road

By Kiro Evans, Local Democracy Reporter

Bexleyheath residents said they were “shocked” after a huge sinkhole opened up on their quiet road on Tuesday evening at around 9pm.

Residents in Martens Avenue said it was the second time a massive hole has appeared in their neighbourhood.

Police tape has been put up around Martens Avenue after emergency services reacted to the incident last night.

Families living in the street in Bexleyheath found the middle of the road had collapsed, with pictures appearing to show a motorbike swallowed by the sinkhole.

The rider of the motorbike had reportedly fallen in before escaping. Staff from Thames Water were at work on Wednesday afternoon to check whether water pipes had been affected by the road caving in.

Residents with longer memories recall a similar incident happening on nearby Braeside Crescent, when a garden was reportedly swallowed up in 2008.

Chris Wells, 82, said how he became aware of what happened last night.

He said: “I saw it last night when it happened when all the fire engines turned up. It’s not the first time this has happened though, it happened a few years ago. They had to take the house down completely and their garden disappeared.

“We don’t want any more of these. And it’s going to restrict us from getting around.”

Mum, Kate Bostal, 38, said she would have to go in a different direction on the school run because of the sinkhole.

She said: “I’m going to have to go the other way on the school run which will take around the same time. But luckily with the train strikes I’m working from home.”

She also shared her memories of the previous sinkhole, which happened only a couple minutes walk from the collapse on Martens Avenue.

Resident Eddie Rivers, 49, said neighbours described to him the sound of a “crack” as the road gave way.

He said: “I saw it last night at 9 o’clock as I was putting the bins out. And basically there were a couple of people standing there and I asked what was going on, and they said there was this noise and it just opened up.

“They said the noise was like a crack. The police arrived not long after and blocked the road off.”

The London Fire Brigade released a statement on Tuesday night.

It said: “Firefighters were called at 9.06pm [June 21] to a sinkhole the depth of 5m in the road in Martens Avenue in Bexleyheath. We helped make the scene safe and the incident was over for crews by 10.28pm.

Thames Water has been contacted for comment.

Pictured top: A Sinkhole opens in Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath (Picture: Mike Stanton)




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