A family is counting itself lucky after a 4-year-old boy almost became a casualty of the Christchurch earthquake yesterday.
Michael Walker was biking through puddles in the suburb of Richmond - where the quake had ruptured the road surface and caused surface flooding - when he and his bike fell into a sinkhole that had opened up in the street.
His father, Brett Olsen, said Michael had "zipped away" from him when the accident happened.
"A couple of other people here saw him riding down, and disappear into the water, so to speak," Mr Olsen told the Herald.
"He was apparently just hanging on to the kerbing, and just managed to get himself out. And then the man who saw it managed to fish his bike out.
"He showed me [by] putting down a stick, and it was like a good metre, metre and a half under the ground. You just can't see it."
Mr Olsen said the accident had the potential to be "really nasty".
"The guy who fished the bike out said there was also a lot of suction under the water there. And actually on the bike, it's like a lot of the paint has been sandblasted off the front."