The sinkhole opened up under the dome of the museum, which is now closed while the rest of the museum remained open for business. The hole was at least 40 feet wide and 25 feet deep and opened up at about 5:40 a.m. CST on Wednesday, setting off an alarm and alerting the fire department.
Bowling Green City spokeswoman Kim Lancaster told The Associated Press
that no one was in the museum at the time. No injuries were reported.
The cone-shaped area houses 30 different corvettes, some of which are owned and loaned out by individuals. None of the cars swallowed by the hole were on loan from individuals. For a full coverage video of the event, check out this link
Butch Hume, president of Louisville's Falls City Corvette Club, mourned the loss of the cars.
"I was stunned," he said. "What a terrible place for it to happen."
When news of the sinkhole started to spread, club members filled Hume's phone with text messages, wanting to know what happened, he said.
"I think anybody who has a Corvette was stunned when they heard that," he said. "We're all feeling the same way. Oh man, that's a shame."
reported a list of the cars swallowed by the sinkhole below:
The cars on loan from GM are:
- 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors7P
- 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General MotorsP
- The other six vehicles owned by the museum are:P
The other six vehicles owned by the museum are:
- 1962 Black CorvetteP
- 1984 PPG Pace CarP
- 1992 White 1 Millionth CorvetteP
- 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary CorvetteP
- 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 CorvetteP
- 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette
Emergency personnel and structural engineers arrived at the scene around 10 a.m. this morning in order to remove all remaining cars from the Skydome. The Bowling Green fire department was on the scene along with geologists from Western Kentucky University to investigate the situation.
The museum is in Kentucky's karst region, meaning there are a lot of underground caves that could result in sinkholes. Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode told reporters this morning that this was their first ever incident with a sinkhole.
According to the Associated Press, the events will not deter the coming 20th Anniversary celebrations of the museum.
Although the event is still a year away, 1,200 people already are registered for the 2014 Corvette Caravan that will mark the 20th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum. Museum officials expect car clubs from all 50 states and Canada to converge on Bowling Green for the celebration.