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Sinkhole traps bus near Cincinnati Zoo

– A sinkhole that opened up under a Metro bus in Cincinnati could take weeks to fix, authorities said Friday.

The driver escaped injury and wasn’t carrying passengers when buckled pavement gave way about 9 p.m. Thursday into a sinkhole at least 15 feet deep. The bus’s rear end was trapped, and tow trucks had to pull it out. The sinkhole was about 15 feet wide.

The Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati said a crew had found a sewage backup near the buckled pavement just before the bus drove over it. The district said the sewer involved is a century old, was buried very deep, and that repairs could take days or weeks.

“Cave-ins are common, but not ones this big,” said Dave Rieman, sewer construction inspector.

Workers said Friday that sewer service in the area wasn’t affected. The street involved is an exit for one of the Cincinnati Zoo’s parking lots.

A zoo official said there shouldn’t be much disruption, although extra staff will be used to direct parkers.

“There is a critical need for continual reinvestment in replacing and improving infrastructure to prevent potentially dangerous situations like this,” the sewer district said in a statement.