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One Year Later: Remembering The Downtown Sinkhole That Swallowed A Port Authority Bus

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - One year ago, it was the moment that spawned dozens of memes, Halloween costumes, Christmas decorations, and so, so much more.

On October 28, 2019, a Port Authority bus was swallowed by a sinkhole in Downtown Pittsburgh.

RELATED: Sinkhole Swallows Port Authority Bus On Busy Street In Downtown Pittsburgh

It was just before 8:00 a.m. when the sinkhole opened up and caused the bus to have it's back half fall into the hole, making the front of the bus point upward toward the sky.

The sinkhole also nearly took a car with it - but the car was successfully towed away without any injuries.

As for the bus, the driver and one passenger were the only people aboard. The driver was uninjured and the passenger was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for neck pains.

Large cranes were called in to remove the bus from the sinkhole.

WATCH: Cranes Arrive On Scene

PHOTO GALLERY: Downtown Sinkhole Swallows Bus

It didn't take long for the sinkhole to become a cult classic for Pittsburgh.

Just days later, local artist Toby Atticus Fraley, had commemorative Christmas ornaments available for sale.

Local Artist Creates Pittsburgh Sinkhole Bus Commemorative Christmas Ornaments

bus in sinkhole ornament
(Photo Credit: Toby Atticus Fraley

The fun certainly didn't stop with just Christmas ornaments.

Baked goods were also part of the fun Pittsburghers were having with the sinkhole. Oakmont Bakery whipped up some doughnuts that commemorated the sinkhole and so did La Mangia in New Castle.

Oakmont Bakery Creates Pittsburgh Sinkhole Bus Donuts

oakmont bakery sinkhole donuts
(Photo Credit: Oakmont Bakery/Facebook)

The bus and the sinkhole may have been temporary but for one Pittsburgher, it's eternal.

Lilly Silknetter took everything a step further and didn't just commission a piece of art or some kind of baked good.

She memorialized the moment with a tattoo, posted on Instagram, that went viral.

"The best response to chaos is coming together and laughing about it. I love Pittsburgh," the caption read.

The tattoo was done by Pittsburgh-based tattoo artist Kaitlyn Teressa. Her photo of the tattoo already has over 1,100 likes on Instagram.

Despite all the fun for everyday people, the sinkhole wasn't just fun and games for the city. It was a 20-foot, expensive headache.

After removing the bus from the hole, Allegheny Crane Rental billed the City of Pittsburgh more than $80,000 for the cost of removing it.

Originally, the city believed that the repairs and reopening of 10th Street would be weeks, maybe months.

Turns out, it was much longer than that.


It was 20 days ago, October 8, 2020, that 10th Street was finally reopened to traffic, with no restrictions or barricades.

While 10th Street may be reopened and the sinkhole filled in, the depth of love that Pittsburgh had for one of the most memeable moments of the decade cannot be measured.

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