Massive sinkhole opens up in Detroit

The huge hole opened up on Saturday but it is not known what caused it

Traffic has been brought to a standstill in downtown Detroit after a gaping sinkhole appeared over the weekend.

The area has been cordoned off and crews are working to fix the hole which opened up on Saturday evening near the General Motors Renaissance Center.

The sinkhole is 14ft deep and 8ft wide and has forced traffic to be diverted until it has been filled. 

The exact cause of the sinkhole is unknown but a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation, Diane Cross told CBS "Well, unfortunately we are a pretty old city, we have older substructures underneath the roadways, and so at the moment we are not sure.

"Age is always a factor - that’s going to be the kind of thing that’s going to have to be determined as well."

According to officials, it will be a few days before the repairs are completed.

Sinkholes are depressions in the ground and occur when the surface level collapses exposing the gap below.

They can occur naturally through erosion when water seeps through the gaps and eats away at the rock below the surface. In urban areas sinkholes can be caused when water mains or sewer pipes crack.

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