Car owners in the Russian city of Samara are facing perilous trips to work today – fearful that the ground beneath them may simply open up and swallow their cars.
According to reports from the city, a spate of 'sinkholes' have started to appear around Samara – with the natural phenomenon eating cars, buses and trucks.
Trucks, buses and cars are all disappearing into the holes – either while parked safely outside their owners' houses and places of work, or perhaps more terrifyingly, while they were driving them.
The problem is so bad, says the Daily Mail, that citizens of the city have signed a petition to pressure authorities into finding a solution, and at least one person is thought to have died as a result of crashing into the gaping holes.
Many suggest that such sinkholes occur when the ground underneath roads and buildings is weakened by either an influx of water, or simply eroded over time – with rock types like limestone reportedly particularly vulnerable.
It's the former that's being put forward as a cause for Samara's problems. A bitter Russian winter is now ending in the area, thawing plenty of snow and ice in the process and reportedly producing considerable amounts of ground water.
It's not just Russia that's suffering from the problem, however: Americans are also facing the perils of sinkholes. A man in Florida recently died after his house collapsed into one of the holes while he slept.