2 women rescued from sinkhole in front of department store in Canada

ONTARIO - Two women have been rescued after falling into a sinkhole that opened up just outside the main entrance of a department store in southern Ontario, reported The Guardian.

The sinkhole formed on Monday (Nov 14) afternoon, and a customer tumbled in as she was headed into a Sears store in Kitchener, a city about 60 miles (97km) west of Toronto.

The concrete looked to cave in underneath her, witness Deanna Haddad told CTV News. "As she stepped in closer, she fell into the hole."

The gaping hole formed due to a burst pipe that sent brown water gushing across the carpark and into the sinkhole.

The water was up to the woman's neck, said the witness. A female employee from the store attempted to help the woman, but also fell in.

Fortunately, both women were eventually able to get out of the hole.

"Wet and dirty," said Ms Haddad when describing the shopper. "Her phone was wet, her purse was wet, everything was just wet and dirty."

The burst pipe also sent waves of water through the front doors of the department store, flooding aisles and staining carpets.

Crews worked through the night to replace the broken pipe and repair the hole.

"Our main efforts right now are concentrated on the safety of our customers and employees," a spokesman told CTV.

While Sears said it did not know the exact size of the hole, a video posted online by a local journalist suggested it roughly spanned the length of the store's front doors.