A car swallowed by an east Ottawa sinkhole is now shifting inside a storm sewer Tuesday night, likely affecting Wednesday morning's commute.

Ottawa fire officials said the car drove into the hole on Highway 174 at the Jeanne d’Arc offramp around 5:10 p.m.

Paramedics said 48-year-old driver Juan Pedro Unger, the only person inside, suffered a minor leg injury after getting out of the car.

"I see ahead on the road this black patch that actually looked like fresh pavement, . . . as I approached I thought 'Well I don’t know if they’re building anything here,'" said Juan Pedro Unger.

"I hear 'Bam! Bam! Bam!' like big loud noises and shaking, my immediate thought was ‘Oh my God, I hope I’m not getting killed and crushed here.’"

Unger said he then started hearing voices asking if he was OK before two people helped pull him out.

"Given what I saw and what I went through, I’m just lucky to be alive," he said. "I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else."

Car now stuck inside storm sewer pipe

Later Tuesday night, a memo to Ottawa city officlals said the car is shifting inside the storm sewer it fell into. Contractors have been hired to see how far in it's moved.

"The vehicle involved in the incident has descended into the storm sewer pipe (a 3.6 [metre] wide pipe) located beneath the sinkhole," said Pierre Poirier, Ottawa's chief of security and emergency management.

"City workers are now assessing how to retrieve the vehicle taking into consideration the safety of those involved‬."

The City of Ottawa said Highway 174's eastbound lanes are closed between Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard and Montreal Road.

Poirier said in the memo the city is making backup plans in case the road isn't open for Wednesday morning's commute, as eastbound traffic on the 174 was at a near standstill after it happened.

City sources tell CTV Ottawa around 11 p.m. Tuesday night traffic eastbound lanes should be closed for at least 12 to 24 hours, meaning commuters should find alternate routes.

Unger said he hopes some lessons can be taken from the incident.

"This should be a wake-up call for the city to check other roads . . . and make sure this doesn't happen," he said. "This could have been much, much worse."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Claudia Cautillo

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