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WATCH: Car plunges into sinkhole that suddenly opens in carpark

A woman was hospitalised on Tuesday after her car fell into a sinkhole that dramatically opened up.

Natalie Huddleston was backing out of a parking space when the drama unfolded.

News footage showed the sinkhole in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, was about three times the width of a car. It was filled with water.

The sinkhole opened up in the parking lot of a tanning salon, according to an Allegheny County Police dispatcher.

Plunging in

Local media photos showed a white sedan falling into the hole rear-end first.

Luckily, the driver escaped out of her car window before the vehicle submerged.

Ms Huddleston said: "I got in the car, backed up and felt a 'thunk'. All of a sudden I was tilted, swaying and kept drifting back. I called the tanning bed owner to come out and she helped climb out the passenger side window."

Sinkholes form when rock below the earth's surface is dissolved by groundwater, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Local media reported that a storm drain runoff pipe had collapsed during the recent spell of heavy rain.

Businesses in the area closed after a second sinkhole opened up.

Sources: Reuters, ABC KTNV News

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