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National Corvette Museum Commemorates Sinkhole That Ate Vintage Cars
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National Corvette Museum Commemorates Sinkhole That Ate Vintage Cars

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National Corvette Museum Commemorates Sinkhole That Ate Vintage Cars

National Corvette Museum Commemorates Sinkhole That Ate Vintage Cars
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NPR marks the second anniversary of a giant sinkhole that sucked up a display of eight vintage Chevrolet Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. The museum is opening a special exhibit to commemorate the anniversary. Even though the sinkhole has been filled in and the cars repaired, the museum wants to tell the story of how it happened, and how the museum dug itself out of what might have been a nightmare.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It can be hard to decide how to celebrate a special anniversary - like that time a sinkhole swallowed a bunch of classic cars.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yeah, it's like, bar mitzvahs, graduations, sinkholes. It happened two years ago at the National Corvette Museum so the museum decided to open an exhibit about it.

MCEVERS: Fixing the damage is almost as fascinating as what happened. The exhibit goes through it all. It was on this day in 2014 at 5:39 a.m. when an unknown natural cave opened up and eight Corvettes fell in. It was all caught on surveillance video. The museum's Katie Frassinelli says the extraction of the cars took a month.

KATIE FRASSINELLI: They ended up cutting a hole in the side of the building and then finding the largest crane that could fit through that hole, and they were able to successfully recover all eight of the Corvettes. And since that time, two of them have been restored by General Motors, and then we have one more - the 1962 black Corvette that we are planning on fixing in-house so visitors to the museum will be able to watch that car being restored.

SHAPIRO: That hole, by the way, measured 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep. The exhibit features a digital version of it.

FRASSINELLI: Then we have a little crane game that people can play trying to recover the cars for themselves from a sinkhole.

SHAPIRO: No need to be afraid for your safety if you go visit. Engineers have shored up the ground beneath the museum.

FRASSINELLI: So hopefully it's not going to happen again.

MCEVERS: Katie Frassinelli of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., where there's now an exhibit about the sinkhole that swallowed eight cars two years ago today.

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