Meltdown! UK heatwave causes vehicles to sink into roads

A new victim of Britain’s summer heatwave is proving to be its roads and pavements, which are starting to melt after days of top temperatures.

There are reports of people and vehicles being trapped in sinkholes caused by bitumen melting in the extreme heat.

A garbage truck became stuck after it appeared to sink into the road, in Newbury, Berkshire.


The vehicle’s back wheels sunk into the tarmac and it needed to be removed from where it was stuck, using a crane.

Nobody was injured and investigations are underway as to why the vehicle sank.

A little further south, in Newcastle, a 24-year-old man had to be rescued by firefighters after his leg became stuck in melted tarmac.

The man called emergency services after he sank “thigh deep” into the road in the Heaton area of the city and became stuck.

The heatwave seems to be melting roads in the UK, where emergency crews worked to free a Newcastle man’s foot which sunk into the tarmac. Source: Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service had to dig the man out with a hammer and chisel.

He escaped uninjured, apparently thanks to his granddad’s Doc Martens, which he was wearing at the time and protected his foot.

“We were called today to a back lane in Heaton, where a 24-year-old man was on his way to buy breakfast when he stepped on some tarmac, lost his footing and went straight through the road,” Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement.

Fire and rescue crews dug around the young man with a hammer and chisel to gently ease his leg out. Source: Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service

“The tarmac had become very soft during the current heatwave and had melted. The young man stayed calm and called 999 for help even though his left leg was thigh deep in the road.

“We arrived around 3 mins later and proceeded to dig around him with a hammer and chisel to gently ease his leg out.”

A fire and rescue service spokesman blamed the melting roads on the heatwave, and warned people to be mindful while walking around.

The UK’s national weather service warned Brits to brace for 33C temperatures “somewhere in central or southern England, maybe even in London,” over the weekend.

“At the moment we are on 13 consecutive days of these temperatures, and we are certainly expecting the warm weather to continue throughout July,” a spokesperson for The Met Office told the Independent.