Workers this week began pulling classic Corvettes from a sinkhole that swallowed them last month at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.
The first to emerge, the 2009 ZR1 Blue Devil, appeared to be in good condition despite minor damage, and its engine started, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.
“It’s a big relief to get that first one out,” Wendell Strode, the museum's executive director, told the Daily News. He said it could take four to six weeks to get all eight cars out. Two of them are completely buried.
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The extraction was streamed live on a monitor in the museum, where visitors watched.
Also recovered on Monday was the 1993 Ruby Red 40th anniversary Corvette. Workers were expected to begin recovering a 1962 black Corvette on Tuesday. A concrete slab covers part of the car.
The sinkhole opened up around 5:40 a.m. on Feb. 12 and swallowed eight classic cars. It was estimated to be 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep.
The museum posted a video of the ZR1 Blue Devil recovery on YouTube.
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The extraction involved a system of cranes and heavy machinery and required stabilization of the walls, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.
Among the cars that fell into the sinkhole, six are owned by the museum and two are on loan from General Motors. General Motors will restore as many of the cars as possible, according to Reuters.
The museum plans to refill the hole and repair the building on top of it.
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