EMERGENCY work was carried out in Fareham last night when a large hole appeared in the ground.
The hole – about 60ft wide and 15ft deep – appeared yesterday afternoon above a sewage pipe at Oxleys Coppice on Rowan Way, Titchfield, pulling in surrounding trees.
A Southern Water spokesman said: “We believe it may have been caused by a break in the sewer pipe which, over time, has pulled the soil into the pipe, undermining the ground.
“We have a team on site making the area safe. Customers’ services are not affected.”
The hole is in the middle of Oxley's Coppice, and no structures are under threat from the sudden appearance of the crater.
Michael Craddock, 22, who works for Tesco, said: “It's pretty unusual. I hope the sewage pipe isn't damaged because of the smell it would cause.”
Catherine Cheng, 40, a full time mum, said: “It could be that the soil is too soft at the moment because of the weather. It's too wet now and the water just stays on the ground, it's not going anywhere.”
Diana Lewis, 57, a shop assistant, said: “I didn't hear or see anything but it's very unusual. I've lived here 10 or 11 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened.”
Jenny Whiffin, 66, who is retired, said: “I noticed a hole there about a year ago. It's absolutely colossal. I was really worried about it because if a dog or child fell down there it could be really dangerous.
“It's been there a long long time, I couldn't believe there were no barriers up.”
Stuart Pope, 32, a process server, said: “I walk the dog in the coppice and our children play there, so it's quite worrying. Last night there were about 15 cars with flashing lights around it.”
Christopher Fisher, 64, a systems engineer, said: “It's very unusual. It's never happened around here before.”