Intense rainfall over the past three days has been blamed for a sinkhole that trapped a car this morning on the new Cuernavaca Paso Express, killing both occupants.
Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said the drainage system, which carries runoff at a depth of more than 15 meters below the surface of the highway, had functioned well for 40 years until this week’s heavy rainfall coupled with the accumulation of garbage that blocked drains.
The sinkhole appeared about 6:00am and trapped a Volkswagen Jetta carrying two men, a father and son aged 56 and 36. Their bodies were found this afternoon after workers spent hours removing rubble — including a large rock — under which their vehicle had been buried.
Authorities suspect the two men died of asphyxiation.
The sinkhole measures an estimated seven meters across and five meters deep.
It appeared on a new stretch of highway between Mexico City and Cuernavaca that was officially inaugurated in April, at which time area residents had complained that the work was incomplete and forecast that the ground could collapse.
The local municipal delegate said earlier this month he had informed the Transportation Secretariat that heavy rains had softened the ground and urged that work be done to correct the situation.
Another large sinkhole appeared last Friday in the city of Veracruz and trapped a city bus but there were no injuries.