Parents were left speechless after a gaping hole swallowed up a bin truck just yards from a primary school.
The back end of the 26-tonne truck disappeared into the hole in Sizer Street, Preston, leaving pupils looking on in disbelief as they arrived for school.
Children were diverted to another entrance after the incident at about 8.15am yesterday and a crane was later brought in to lift the Preston City Council vehicle from the hole.
A spokesman for nearby English Martyrs RC Primary School said: “It was only about three steps away from one of the school gates so it’s fortunate it didn’t happen later when it was busier.
“We asked parents to use the main school gate on Ashmore Street, so nobody was in any danger - but the children found it absolutely fascinating.”
The road, which is surfaced in concrete, collapsed as the truck rounded the corner.
Photographs show cracks radiating from the hole along the road.
Duncan Coward, Head of Waste Management at Preston City Council, said: “It’s a bit of a shock.
“The lorry is well and truly stuck, so much so we need a crane to lift it out.
“The driver and crew are all fine but as you can imagine they are a bit shook up by what happened. Luckily no one else was involved.
“We’ve taken steps to make sure all bins will be collected as normal, so no-one will be affected whilst this bin lorry is out of action.”
He said that the road had been closed until the lorry was recovered.
The truck driver and his passenger w were taken to Royal Preston Hosptial for checks as a precaution.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said they were investigating the cause of the collapse and that the utility companies had been informed.