10 May 2018

Man falls down unexpected 3m-hole in backyard

11:07 am on 10 May 2018

A Dunedin man experienced quite a shock this week when a deep hole suddenly opened up underneath him in his backyard.

The hole in the patio at Andrew Thomson's Otago home.

The hole in the patio at Andrew Thomson's Otago home. Photo: Supplied / Andrew Thomson

Andrew Thomson was walking across his patio to feed his goldfish on Tuesday afternoon when the paving under his feet gave way.

He said he was stuck at the bottom of the roughly three-metre pit for half an hour until a neighbour heard his cries for help and rallied several nearby roadworkers for assistance.

Mr Thomson told Morning Report he would not wish the experience on anyone.

"I found myself looking up to the sky and realising that I had cut myself and broke my glasses et cetera down the bottom.

"But looking up and realising there was simply no way out from there.

"Just one moment standing there feeding the fish so to speak and the other moment underground."

To try to escape he said he stacked up pavers that had fallen into the hole, but the walls kept falling in around him when he touched them.

And he was also worried that a heavy water feature would fall on him.

"That's something I was thinking about the night afterwards after really, 'what if that had come in as well?'

"That's really the end of ... the story at that point."

Engineers are now trying to work out what caused the collapse.

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