Dude, where's my car?
In the USA, we drive on the right side of the road, and in the UK, they drive on the left. In India, road is road. This adage is usually used to describe driving in Russia, but only by those who haven't been to India yet. There are rules, but they work in the same way as the points system on Whose Line Is It Anyway?
So, commuters there have a lot to worry about, especially between June to September. That's Mumbai's rainy season, and by rain, we actually mean monsoon. India is currently experiencing a massive monsoon, covering 80% of the landmass. To make matters worse, the downpour is around 25% more than it usually receives.
In addition to the roads being hazardous at the best of times, the roads are now also exacting revenge on cars that aren't even moving.
Recently, a sinkhole claimed an entire Venue. Luckily, not a wedding or brunch venue but rather a Hyundai Venue. Thankfully, at the time it went down like the Titanic, nobody was in the car. The brake lights do appear to be on, but this is likely due to an electrical fault caused by the water. Local police retrieved the car and confirmed that it was empty.
There is more to this story, however. It seems this may not be an entirely natural sinkhole, as some human error might have been involved.
A sinkhole is basically ground erosion underneath a structure, and it's common after heavy rainfall. The ground erodes, leaving only a thin layer of tarmac or concrete between the hole and whatever is above it. It happens in the USA quite often. In 2019 a Kia Optima was nearly swallowed in Pittsburgh. And who can forget about that massive sinkhole that claimed eight historic once-off Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky?
These were all naturally-formed sinkholes, but in this case, the creation of the hole that gulped up a Hyundai is not as clear cut. Space is notoriously tight in India's big cities, and parking lots are in short supply. This particular parking lot was reportedly built over an existing well that had been covered up with concrete.
It's shocking to see how quickly the Venue disappears down the hole. We don't have footage of the hole opening up, but it takes no more than 20 seconds for the little Hyundai to vanish completely. If somebody had been in the car at the time, we don't think they would have had enough time to escape.
The Brinhanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the body corporate in charge of the property, claims that it had nothing to do with what happened. According to a report by the Tribune India, the area has been cordoned off.
Whatever the case may be, the hole does look like a well. And following the recent rainfalls, you'd expect the hole to be much bigger. For reference, look at the size of a naturally-formed sinkhole in the parking lot in Mississippi.
The local emergency response team also posted a video of the Venue being reclaimed from the ground where you can clearly see the well. It goes down a long way.
As for the Venue, we don't think it will ever operate again. You might even say that this particular Venue is closed for business. We'll see ourselves out.