Mall and buildings evacuated near Ottawa sinkhole

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A mall and buildings around a major intersection near Parliament in Ottawa were evacuated because of a large sinkhole, city officials said Wednesday.

The road collapse occurred at Rideau Street and Sussex Drive, not far east of Parliament. A van fell into the hole but there were no injuries.

The city said buildings in the area were evacuated because of the smell of gas but the leaks have since been contained. The Rideau Mall, the Westin Ottawa, the Shaw Centre Convention Centre and a book store are among the buildings evacuated.

Water could be seen gushing inside the sinkhole but the water has since been shut off.

Power is out in the area.

The portion of the road affected is under construction to install a light rail tunnel. But Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said it’s too early to say if the work is related to the sinkhole’s appearance.

“It’s a significant sinkhole in the downtown core,” he said.

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