Sinkhole swallows 8 cars at the National Corvette Museum

FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, file photo, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is revealed at media previews for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has been named North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show. The truck of the year is the Chevrolet Silverado. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A massive sinkhole opened up in Kentucky's National Corvette Museum, swallowing eight Corvettes on Wednesday. The sinkhole was estimated to have opened up to 40 feet wide and went about 30 feet deep. It swallowed eight of the iconic cars housed in the museum's Skydome section.

Jason Polk, a professor of geology and geography at Western Kentucky University, was called by the city to examine the sinkhole.

Polk said sinkholes are not unusual for this region, given its massive underground cave system, but it is noteworthy to see a sinkhole develop at the museum's Skydome.

Research should determine whether recent rainy, damp weather or another factor caused this sinkhole, according to Polk.

"We've been staying back and making sure that people are safe because that's our primary concern at this point," Polk said.

One of the cars damaged was a '65 model provided by a Louisville jeweler who owned 27 Corvettes. It had been stolen from him nearly four decades ago and was only recovered in 2012.

He drove to the museum shortly after a friend called him to give him the news about the sinkhole.

"I thought he was pulling my leg at first," Mayfield said. "It's a survivor – it's survived being stolen and now it's survived a sinkhole."

The museum itself has been deemed structurally sound and intends to be open on Thursday. [Bowling Green Daily News]