A giant pothole opened under a residential street in Germany early Monday, taking a car with it and leaving another car hanging over the edge. Miraculously, neat private homes standing both sides of the street remained standing. The cause was unclear. Germany occasionally experiences potholes when ancient mines collapse or water creates cavities in areas of karst rock. The slump, measuring 40 by 30 metres, hit Schmalkalden, a small town in Germany's central hill country, 120 kilometres north-east of Frankfurt. A resident phoned police at about 3am after hearing a loud noise.

Residents were evacuated from 23 buildings. Nobody was injured.