Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Molly Roecker and Hasani Gittens

A giant "sinkhole" about 50-feet wide opened up in an IHOP parking lot in Mississippi over the weekend, swallowing at least 14 vehicles, officials said.

About 7:15 p.m. (8:15 p.m. ET) Saturday, "we received a call of vehicles going through the pavement at the IHOP in Meridian," Meridian patrol Lt. Rita Jack told NBC News.

"When we arrived on scene, 14 to 15 vehicles that we could see had fallen roughly 30 feet into the ground. We expect that there may be more and that they may fall further into the ground because there is only mud underneath."

Rain in the forecast could hamper the recovery effort, but officials expected to start moving cars within three to five days.

"The sinkhole is huge," said Jack. "If you imagine a football field cut in half, it is every bit of 50 feet wide and about 100 to 125 feet wide. We are talking 14 to 15 vehicles. It is very scary. We are so fortunate that no injuries were sustained. We are gonna keep it under observation until we know that it is clear and safe."

Related: Related: 'Gateway to Hell': Sinkholes Open Across Earth

The IHOP had just opened earlier in the week, NBC station WLBT of Jackson reported.

What Causes Sinkholes?

Dec. 8, 201400:43