HOT SPRINGS, Ark – Tourist in the bathhouse district received a shock Tuesday morning as a man broke through a sidewalk, emerging from underground. The man claimed to have fallen in a sinkhole in the summer of 2007.
The 46-year-old Carl Spackler is recovering at St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs suffering from light sensitivity and minor scrapes. Witnesses say they heard a pounding sound coming from the sidewalk shortly before Spackler was able to break through the concrete.
“It was wild. I was sitting there taking a selfie in front of a bath house when I noticed a hand sticking out of the sidewalk like some sort of zombie invasion,” witness Sarah Webb tells us. “Immediately I rushed over to the hole, snapped a few pictures for Instagram, then asked Siri for what to do. Thankfully after a couple of tries she told me to call 911.”
Spackler claims he was on a nearby hiking trail in July 2007 when he felt the ground around him cave in and open into a vast hole. Local papers reported warnings about the minor sinkhole before it was filled in. There were no known victims of the sinkhole at the time. Relatives reported Spackler, who lived alone, missing a few weeks later with no leads on his whereabouts.
Spackler says he began digging and found a small opening with running water from the area’s springs. He attempted multiple times to find a way out, and became concerned that the entire downtown area fell into the sinkhole.
“Several times while digging I would reach a structure. After working my way in I found no light inside and the building abandoned,” Spackler tells us. “The only conclusion I could reach was that the entire area became buried with me. I found my way into several buildings, and even once what appeared to be the Majestic Hotel. While I saw many of the other buildings I thought I found after I found the surface, I didn’t see the Majestic. Was it engulfed by another sinkhole?”
The Concerned Citizens for Downtown Hot Springs organization has issued a statement saying Mr Spackler’s case only highlights the need to restore the buildings in Downtown Hot Springs. “There are potentially more individuals out there digging tunnels under Hot Springs, hoping for a way out. We must take action now,” the statement says.