Heavily pregnant St Albans woman and her husband tell sinkhole horror story

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:18 08 October 2015

Close-up photos of the sinkhole in Fontmell Close, off the top of Seymore Road in St Albans, which appeared at 1am on October 1

Close-up photos of the sinkhole in Fontmell Close, off the top of Seymore Road in St Albans, which appeared at 1am on October 1

Photo provided

A heavily pregnant woman from St Albans, who was evacuated from her house near the site of the sinkhole in the early hours of last Thursday morning, has described the moments after it collapsed.

Gemma Bagshaw, 32, and her husband Ben, 34, were woken by the noise of the sinkhole at around 1.30am.

Gemma said: “It sounded like something collapsing. Not that I’ve ever heard an earthquake, but it sounded like that.”

Ben described the noise as a “crumbling sound”, and said that although it was pitch black outside, he could tell that a sinkhole had emerged – partly because the orange fencing which had been used to cordon of a smaller hole earlier in the week had vanished.

He said: “You could tell that there was a shadow on the road. I knew what was there before. You could just tell – there was fencing there before but that had just completely disappeared.”

Gemma, who was due to give birth the week before the collapse, quickly collected her hospital notes and an overnight bag while Ben called the police.

She said: “Because of where the cars were, we just worried about getting out of the road. There was literally just a couple of metres of pavement to get out of the road. We just grabbed the bare essentials and ran.”

Ben tried frantically to wake his neighbours, and even began throwing stones at windows in an attempt to rouse those still sleeping.

Gemma said: “I’m just pleased that nobody got hurt. In a way, I think it’s better that the baby wasn’t here and we were evacuated with a day-old, two-day-old baby.

“We’re going to beg, borrowing and stealing things from friends over the next couple of days. We’ll just have to muddle through.”


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