Feb 12, 2014 4:29 PM
A sinkhole developed under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, swallowing eight cars Wednesday morning.
The sinkhole opened up around 6:30 a.m., setting off an alarm. Nobody was inside at the time. Eight cars were swallowed by the hole, including six Corvettes.
The fire department estimated the hole is about 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep. Pictures of the sinkhole show a collapsed section of floor with multiple cars visible inside the hole. A few feet away, other Corvettes sit undamaged and undisturbed.
Museum officials said the sinkhole destroyed a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors, a 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General Motors.
The other six vehicles were Corvettes owned by the National Corvette Museum: 1962 Black Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car, a 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette, a 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette, a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette, a 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette.
The hole is in a part of the domed section of the museum that was completed in 1994. That area will remain closed, but the rest of the museum will be open Wednesday, officials said.
Structural engineers were called out to the scene to assess the damage, the stability of surrounding areas, and find out exactly what happened. It appears this incident is the first of its kind at the property.
The museum is set to host the 2014 Corvette Caravan in September, a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the museum. Officials said they look forward to re-opening the Skydome exhibit area very soon.
Although the event is still a few months away, 1,200 people have already registered for it. Museum officials expect car clubs from all 50 states and Canada to converge on Bowling Green for the celebration.
Bowling Green is also the lone place where General Motors builds the iconic Corvette.
Bowling Green sits in the midst of the state's largest karst region - the Western Pennyroyal area, where many of Kentucky's longest and deepest caves run underground.
Photos: Bowling Green Daily News, National Corvette Museum
(The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.)
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