Sinkhole Hits National Corvette Museum

Published 02/12 2014 05:42PM

Updated 02/12 2014 05:51PM

Car enthusiasts all over the world are left stunned after a giant sinkhole takes out a part of the National Corvette Museum, along with eight priceless cars. The sinkhole opened around 5:40 AM at the Skydome inside the museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Luckily, no one was inside at the time.

"My car was here. I was kind of worried about it."

Chance Mayfield's classic Corvette was once lost, but found.

"It was stolen 39 years ago and recovered," he recalls. But Wednesday morning, it could've been lost for good.

"Another catastrophe like this could've swallowed it up," Mayfield says. Eight cars, some one of a kind, some more than 50 years old, lost around 5:40 AM. It wasn't done by thieves, but by a sinkhole 40 feet across and thirty feet deep.

"There are at least two cars, that appear to me, that could be saved and could be recovered," says Executive Director Wendell Strode says other cars inside were moved out of the dome, which was a separate building.

"We are very thankful that it happened at the time that it did happen, that no employees were inside the building, no guests were inside the building," he says.

Engineers are investigating how the sink hole formed. They say the biggest concern now is its possible expansion.

"We do see some continued instability in the wall. It could collapse more over time, but it appears to be migrating away from the building, not towards the main part of the building," says Matt Dettman, an engineering professor at Western Kentucky University. Meanwhile, Mayfield found his car, just like he left it.

"I'm just relieved that mine wasn't one of them and feel for the people that had cars in there that did get swallowed up."

Strode says they're not sure what the total value was of the cars that fell into the sinkhole yet. Museum officials say while the Skydome is closed, most of the museum will be back open tomorrow.

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