Farmer 'swallowed up' by 60ft sinkhole while riding his quad bike

Emily Cleary
·2 min read
Rescuers were on the scene for two and a half hours (CFRS/Twitter)
Rescuers were on the scene for two and a half hours (CFRS/Twitter)

A farmer was "swallowed" by a 60ft sinkhole as he rode his quad bike through a field.

The man had to be helicoptered to hospital after rescue teams managed to pull him out of the 18 metre-deep hole.

Rescuers said that the ground caved in as the man rode across a field at Bowesfield Farm in Stank, south Cumbria.

Ian Westall of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement: "The ground just fell away with the weight of the bike on that particular spot and he was swallowed up into the sinkhole."

The farmer was flown to hospital and was still being treated for chest injuries on Friday.

The farmer was riding his quad bike across the field when the ground
The farmer was riding his quad bike across the field when the ground "swallowed" him up the 60ft sinkhole (CFRS/Twitter)
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service pulled the farmer from the 60ft sinkhole (CFRS/Twitter)
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service pulled the farmer from the 60ft sinkhole (CFRS/Twitter)

Westall added: "We peered down and could see the farmer sat up, and we could just make out the outline of his bike under a mound of earth. I'm sure he was in deep shock."

The opening was about 8ft (2m) wide at the top but below that opened up "like a wine carafe", which posed additional risk to rescuers, Westall said.

"You've got a lip at the top which went down into a narrow throat, and then there was a large bulbous bottom which opened up 10m (33ft) in one direction and 4m (13ft) in the other.

Read more from Yahoo News UK:

What you can and can't do under current lockdown rules

Bodycam shows moment fugitive armed robber is caught on way to buy Call of Duty

'Vindictive' arsonist torched couple's dream home after they outbid him for it

The farmer was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for chest injuries (CFRS/Twitter)
The farmer was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for chest injuries (CFRS/Twitter)

"Obviously, with unstable ground and people on the surface unsighted, there was an inherent risk.

"We had to make sure the rescuers weren't going to be involved in any further movement or collapse of the ground, so we widened the cordon area and had only those directly involved in the rescue at the scene."

A sinkhole, also known as a cenote, swallow hole, or doline is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer.

Watch: The local councillor bringing aspiration to one of England's most deprived areas