A giant sinkhole 20 meters across and 10 meters deep has opened up in a London commuter town, forcing residents to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night.

The 32-feet-deep sinkhole opened up on Fontmell Close early Thursday morning, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue said. Six homes were evacuated and more than 50 homes were left without utilities.

One resident living close to the sinkhole in St Albans says she thought it was a joke when police woke her up and told her to evacuate.

Rad Bristow, from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service: “I understand it’s a really stressful time for residents, but in terms of the emergency response we did what would be expected.”

A nearby resident said, “My husband looked out of the window and said, ‘Oh my god the road’s gone, it’s disappeared.”‘

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