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Updated: 10th September 2018 06:12

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Skeleton construction crew guards Calgary sinkhole

A Calgary family is having some spooky fun with a sizeable sinkhole that was discovered outside of their northwest Calgary home last Friday.

Trio of skeletons dressed in construction gear keeping an eye on hole until city fills it

A trio of skeletons dressed in construction gear is keeping an eye on the hole until the city fills it 0:40

A Calgary family is having some early Halloween fun with a sizeable sinkhole that was discovered outside their northwest Calgary home last Friday.

Jordan Piraux said she and her family were enjoying a quiet evening last Friday when they heard sirens right outside their Evanston home.

When they walked outside they were shocked to see a massive sinkhole had appeared at the end of their driveway.

"We didn't know how it started or when it happened," she said. "It's actually five feet wide by almost five feet deep."

Tim Piraux measures the depth of the sinkhole at the end of his driveway. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

But, the Piraux family — known for their over-the-top Halloween decorations — aren't ones to dwell on the negative, and had a more humorous response in mind. 

The family set up a skeleton crew of three in and around the sinkhole's barriers and dressed them as construction workers — with hard hats and work vests.

"We set this guy up, having him leaning on this sort of sweeping up the mess, and then we have our guy over there who's kinda stopping traffic — we have his hand out — and then we have the one in the hole, which we thought was kind of funny," she said. 

The family said they didn't notice the ground sinking or anything leading up 

Tim Piraux said he posted a photo of their bony friends to his Instagram page called Extreme Coffee Freak as a joke, tagging the city and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

"It started off with one skeleton saying we've been waiting so long that we've got things crawling out of the hole now," he said. "And then we took it a little farther saying now the city is killing their men, working them to death now as we're still waiting for the hole to be fixed."

This skeleton is on cleanup duty. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

The Pirauxs said they've been having fun with the situation and so have their neighbours. 

"They were driving by, they were laughing. We've had people drive by and then take a second look, it was kind of funny," she said. "And then we've had a lot of kids come out and kinda give high fives to the skeletons, so it's been a great response from the community."

Despite their good-natured demeanour, the Piraux family said they would like to have the hole fixed sooner rather than later, so their skeletons can rest up for their October debut.

Tim and Jordan Piraux pose with their skeleton in charge of traffic control (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

Corey Colbran, manager of waste water and storm water collection for the city, said his crews have conducted multiple tests on the site and concluded there are no water leaks or main breaks that caused the hole to form. 

And, with the hole having sat open in front of the Piraux's driveway for nearly a week without anyone informing the family of when it would be fixed or what they learned, he admits the city could have done a better job of communicating with them.

"On the Friday before a long weekend we probably ran into some issues there," he said. "In terms of communication we probably could have done a better job of communicating with the home owners.

A spokesperson for the city's roads department said a natural event removed material from under the roadway causing it to collapse and they've now been given the green light to fill the hole — but  couldn't say when that would happen. 

About the Author

Lucie Edwardson

Journalist

Lucie Edwardson is a reporter with CBC Calgary. Lucie most recently headed a pop-up bureau in Lethbridge, Alberta. Her experience includes newspaper, online, TV and radio. Follow her on Twitter @LucieEdwardson

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