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El Paso Water: Sinkhole caused by water main break expected to be fixed in coming days

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El Paso Water officials said a water main break underground caused the sinkhole in central El Paso in which a vehicle submerged and a woman had to be rescued Tuesday evening.

"The hole was created with a broke twenty-four-inch waterline. This waterline is under high pressure. When the line broke, up to ten-thousand gallons per minute of water was rushing through there," said Gilbert Trejo, chief operations officer for El Paso Water.

Crews were able to remove the vehicle from the sinkhole at Gateway Boulevard South and Yandell Drive Wednesday morning.

The vehicle is significantly damaged and was pulled out in pieces.

The woman made it out alive after El Paso firefighters and good samaritans helped pull the woman out of the vehicle.

Officials said the sinkhole is 15 feet deep.

RELATED: VIDEO: Woman pulled from car partially submerged in central El Paso sinkhole

"This line is approaching seventy years old. It's a cast-iron line here in one of the older parts of town," said Trejo.

Trejo said the line broke two times in the last 10 years.

"We replaced it in our capital programs and plan to replace a larger segment right here in Yandell," said Trejo.

The water line was 24 inches and had a high pressure of up to 10,000 gallons of water per minute, Trejo added.

Trejo said the high pressure and the rainy weather did not help the situation.

El Paso Water is investigating and conducting tests to see what caused the break.

The area of North Gateway and Yandell remains blocked.

Residents said it has been difficult to maneuver around the blocked area.

"I was worried I take the freeway but now I have to take another route to work," said Ernesto Herrera.

Trejo said he expects the road will be paved and cleared by Saturday.

KFOX14 spoke with the family of the 72-year-old woman who was in the car.

The family said the woman was released from the hospital Tuesday night.

They also said she loved her car and doesn't think she's realized her car is gone as she is still in shock.

The family also said they're just grateful she's still alive.

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