An Ottawa man says he was rescued by passersby after he drove into a deep highway sinkhole he mistook for a black tarp.

Juan Unger, 48, was driving home Tuesday afternoon in his Hyundai Accent and exited a highway at 25 mph, the Ottawa Sun reported.

Ahead on the ramp, Unger said he saw something black and assumed it was a tarpauli, rug or fresh tar.

“I see ahead on the road this black patch that actually looked like fresh pavement, … as I approached I thought ‘Well I don’t know if they’re building anything here,’” said Mr Unger.

He told the Sun he had cars on both sides of him and couldn’t swerve.

Although he slowed down, it was too late and the car plunged nose-first into the sinkhole, leaving only the tip of the rear bumper visible.

“I hear ‘Bam! Bam! Bam!’ like big loud noises and shaking, my immediate thought was I hope I don’t get killed or crushed or horribly injured,” he said.

“The car went vertical … I was hanging from the seat belt.”

Unger told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. he decided to climb out of the car with the fear of being run over or falling even further down.

Other drivers who had stopped helped hoist him out of the hole, the CBC said.

Unger suffered only scrapes, the reports said.

Maintenance workers told the CBC a rotting 12-foot sewer pipe had caused the sinkhole.

“Given what I saw and what I went through, I’m just lucky to be alive,” Unger said. “I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

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A regional Tactical Rescue Team and other emergency personnel from Indiana worked on Friday night to get a man out of a large hole in the backyard of his Elkhart home.

According to the 25-year-old man’s father, a spirit had told him to dig for treasure, and that’s what he did for three days before becoming mired in dirt and water.

The father said the spirit told his son there was gold buried in the backyard of the home, which they are renting.

The father helped him dig for three days until hitting water, which the son was sucked into and became stuck up to his knees.

The father made it out alright.

Firefighters, who arrived at the scene at around 6:30 p.m., found a hole about eight-feet deep that became a tunnel at the bottom.

They used a vacuum truck to suck out the water and sand and used plywood to hold up the side walls.

At around 8:30 p.m. the rescuers were able to pull the man up on a ladder.

He walked a short distance to a waiting ambulance where he was given IV liquids and taken to Elkhart General Hospital.

The father said his son is under observation and is doing OK.

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Incredible CCTV footage from China shows the moment an unsuspecting girl was swallowed up by a pavement as she walked down a street talking on her mobile phone.

The sidewalk, in the north of China, caved in under the teenager’s weight as she stepped onto a slab, plunging her six meters down into a murky underground weather-worn cavern.

The video shows passing taxi driver Wang Wei pulling up his cab and diving into the pit to help her.

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A red-faced Austrian grave-digger had to be rescued by firefighters after he stood back to admire his handiwork – and fell down the six-foot deep hole he had just dug.

55-year-old Stefan Faerber from Deutschlandsberg managed to dial 999 from the bottom of the grave, despite having injuring his back and fracturing his skull.

“He said he had just stepped back to look at the sides when the ground disappeared underneath him and he fell straight into the hole. He was in a lot of pain and couldn’t climb out,” said one firefighter.

A police spokesman confirmed: “It was his last job of the day so he’s lucky he had his phone with him to call for help – or he might have spent a very uncomfortable night next to some of his previous customers.”

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An Austrian farmer discovered a mysterious, deep, perfectly round hole that apparently had appeared in his field overnight. Of course, this was blamed on extraterrestrial activity.

Farmer Franz Knoglinger discovered the hole while looking for a lost pet. In an interview with the Austrian Times newspaper, Knoglinger said: “I was looking for our family cat, Murlimann, when I noticed the hole. I didn’t know how deep it was, so I dropped the stone down there and heard a metallic clunk. From the time it took for the stone to reach the bottom, I realized it was very deep.”

Intrigued, Knoglinger used a rope to lower a magnet into the hole, and he concluded that whatever was at the bottom was metallic.

This only deepened the puzzle, and soon the mystery drew local, national and, finally, international attention. Curiosity-seekers, geologists and UFO buffs flocked to the farm to see the hole for themselves. A buried UFO became a favorite explanation.

A few clues shed some light on the mystery.If the hole was indeed perfectly round, then the obvious source was a drill. In fact, the hole’s perfect roundness would make it less mysterious, if anything, because drills leave round holes. A perfectly square, rectangular, or even oval shape would be more extraordinary.

A local historian decided to do a bit of digging — not in the dusty field but in the local land-use archives. It turns out the hole had not appeared overnight as Knoglinger assumed, but had been there for decades.

In fact, a half-century ago an oil company had drilled there looking for oil. A large metal drill bit became stuck and broke before workers could find anything, so they left the drill bit at the bottom of the hole and never bothered to fill it in. That’s what attracted the magnet dropped down to the bottom: not a spaceship but a large metal bit stuck in rock.

Over the years the area became farmland and people stopped noticing the hole, either because it had been covered by grass or a piece of wood or simply because, with the advent of modern farming machinery, there were fewer people working in the field.

As for the missing cat, it was eventually found hiding in a cupboard.

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