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It's So Hot That Some Streets Are Actually Melting

Welcome to another terrible summer.

by River Donaghey
Jul 6 2018, 5:36pm

Photo via Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

We're only officially a couple weeks into summer and it is already brain-bleedingly hot. The past week's massive heatwave has been setting all-time heat records across the globe, and 2018 seems on track to be even hotter than 2017. But if a list of statistics doesn't convince you of just how sweltering it is right now, maybe this cautionary tale will: It's so goddamn hot that streets are melting and swallowing people alive.

This week, a man in the UK walked out to get some breakfast when he stepped on a road and promptly sank in, BBC reports. The Newcastle tarmac street had apparently melted in the heat and got too hot to support the 24-year-old's weight. When he stepped on the soft spot, his entire leg sunk down through the hot pavement, leaving him stuck. Luckily, there were no cars speeding down that particular stretch of road and the guy was carrying his cell phone, so he called up the fire department and told them that he was, well, in need of some assistance.

"The tarmac had become very soft during the current heatwave and had melted," the local fire department wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. "The young man stayed calm and called 999 for help even though his left leg was thigh deep in the road. We arrived around three minutes later and proceeded to dig around him with a hammer and chisel to gently ease his leg out."

After chiseling away at the hot road for a while, the firefighters were finally able to smash a hole big enough to free the guy's foot. Luckily, he was unharmed by the whole fiasco, a fact that the fire department attributed to him wearing his "granddad's Dr. Martens" when he sunk in.

This summer is going to be pretty rough if it's only July and people are already sinking into melted roads. It might be time to invest in a pair of heavy boots if we want to make it to October.

Update 7/9: The Newcastle City Council Highways team later determined that the road collapsed due to a small void under the tarmac, and not the heat. The local fire department updated its Facebook post accordingly.

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