Two sinkholes opened up Saturday in the 11000 block of Kitching Street, trapping a dog and confounding efforts to rescue.
At around 11:40 a.m., the dog became trapped in a sinkhole that was 2 feet wide and 20 feet deep and located in a residential area next to a structure, firefighters said. The sinkhole was a result of a septic system that malfunctioned on the Moreno Valley property.
The dog was heard moaning and barking when first responders arrived, and animal control was summoned to the scene to assist with the rescue, according to April Newman with the Riverside Fire Department. When personnel moved to rescue the dog, the animal was startled and moved away from them.
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At 3:43 p.m., firefighters said that personnel had not had a visual of or heard the dog in more than an hour and that conditions around the sinkhole were too dangerous to continue the search.
Photos from our #KitchingIncident technical rescue today. Photo credit: CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (3 of 3) pic.twitter.com/jcAj2IugOG — CAL FIRE Riverside (@CALFIRERRU) December 25, 2016
While firefighters secured the area, another 20-foot-deep sinkhole was found in the area, Newman said.
Firefighters requested a vacuum truck from the Eastern Municipal Water District to drain the holes.
It is not clear if wet weather contributed to the formation of the sinkholes, but the area had received over an inch of rain in the last 24 hours due to winter storms, according to the National Weather Service.
Moreno Valley Building and Safety, Moreno Valley Public Works, firefighters and the utility companies worked to render the property safe, but by 4:35 p.m. the fire department reported its personnel cleared the scene.