A farmer has been pulled to safety from a 60ft (18m) sinkhole which “swallowed” him and the quad bike he was riding, BBC News Cumbria has reported.
The rescue mission began at 12pm GMT yesterday, after the ground opened up as the man rode across a field at Bowesfield Farm in Stank, south Cumbria.
Speaking to the BBC, Ian Westall of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said: “The ground just fell away with the weight of the bike on that particular spot and he was swallowed up into the sinkhole.”
“We peered down and could see the farmer sat up, and we could just make out the outline of his bike under a mound of earth. I’m sure he was in deep shock.”
The opening was reported to be about 8ft (2m) wide at the top but widened below posing a potential additional risk to rescuers.
There are said to be a number of early 19th Century disused iron ore mines in the area, which can make sinkholes an ongoing danger.
The BBC stated that farmer was flown to hospital and is being treated for chest injuries.