Massive water main break in Worcester leaves driver stranded in sinkhole, snarls traffic

WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - A massive water main break in Worcester Tuesday afternoon swallowed a pickup truck, left a motorist stranded in a sinkhole and caused traffic delays across the city during the rush-hour commute.

The 24-inch break happened about 3 p.m. at Stores Street on Shore Drive near Interstate 190, officials said.

The break sent five to seven million gallons of water cascading into the streets near I-190.

Video from Sky7-HD showed one driver temporarily stranded on top of his truck. He was pulled to safety after several minutes.

One man got trapped in the middle of the mess in his minivan.

“I turned the corner and a wave of water came at me,” he recalled, “Just a big wall of water.”

The water was three feet deep at its peak, which was enough to stall cars.

“The water got inside the car, so I had to get out,” Maria Majeda explained.

Department of Public Works officials say the pipe was installed in 1955.

“There could’ve been a minor leak at a joint going on for years and years and it finally let go,” Phil Guerin of the Worcester DPW said. “It could be sometimes we have pipes fail because the soils are corrosive.”

Frontage Road between Shore and West Boylston drives along I-190 will remain closed Wednesday as city crews work to replace the line.

Officials say residents should expect to see cloudy-colored water but it is safe to drink.

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