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GUATEMALA CITY - Three people were missing yesterday after a 100m-deep hole opened up in the middle of a Guatemalan neighbourhood, likely due to a burst sewer pipe.

"It sounded like a bomb was dropping. Boom!" said Carlos Gutierrez, 58, of the crater, which measured 70m in diameter.

The crater appeared in the capital's San Antonio neighbourhood on Friday. Authorities evacuated hundreds of people fearing more land could collapse into a fast-flowing river of sewage below.

The missing people had lived in a house that fell into the hole. Two bodies showed up about a mile downstream.

Neighbours said the ground had been shaking for weeks after a huge sewer pipe burst, making the ground underneath the houses unstable.

- REUTERS