According to the NCM, motion sensors were set off at 5:44 AM, leading museum authorities to discover a 25 to 30-foot deep chasm, that Executive Director Wendell Strode called "pretty significant." The sinkhole developed in the museum's Skydome, although it can't be seen on any of the museum's webcams (the Enthusiast cam is the closest look we can get to what's going on).
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports emergency personnel remain on the scene, and have only allowed museum employees to remove a single vehicle – the only remaining 1983 Corvette, which was part of a mere 44-vehicle run.
The two cars on loan from GM were a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil," while the damanged museum-owned cars included a 1962 Corvette, the millionth Vette ever built (a 1992), a 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 and the 1.5 millionth car produced. None of the damaged vehicles were on loan from private individuals. The extent of the damage to these vehicles remains unclear at this time.
The museum traditionally features an array of live camera feeds on its website, but the Skydome camera is presently down. However, we have noted some activity with emergency workers and cameramen on Camera4, "Enthusiast," that you can tune in to by clicking here.
According to the official press release from the NCM, the Skydome is closed as damage is assessed by structural engineers,
UPDATE: The National Corvette Museum has released a pair of small photos of the sinkhole, which you can view in our gallery below.
UPDATE: In an earlier press release, authorities stated that only the Skydome has been closed, noting the rest of the museum remains open. A subsequent release now says that the entire museum is closed for the day to "carefully assess the situation."
UPDATE: Streaming feeds from museum webcams have revealed that a number of other Corvettes are being moved from their displays, presumably to mitigate risk of further damage from the sinkhole. You can see photos of the action in our followup story here.
UPDATE: We have a large number of videos from the sinkhole, including as-it-happened security camera footage and radio-controlled helicopter video footage of the hole available in a third followup story here.
We received a call at 5:44am from our security company alerting us of our motion detectors going off in our Skydome area of the Museum. Upon arrival it was discovered that a sinkhole had collapsed within the Museum. No one was in or around the Museum at the time. The Bowling Green Fire Department arrived on the scene and secured the area.
It is with heavy hearts that we report that eight Corvettes were affected by this incident. Those cars include:
1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General Motors
The other six vehicles were owned by the National Corvette Museum including:
1962 Black Corvette
1984 PPG Pace Car
1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette
None of the cars affected were on loan from individuals. We have contacted a structural engineer who is arriving today to assess the existing damage and stability of the surrounding areas. While the Skydome area is closed, the remainder of the Museum is still open.
This year we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and look forward to re-opening the Skydome exhibit area very soon.
The National Corvette Museum is the 'Gateway to All Things Corvette' and a member-driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. Weekly news on the latest Corvette developments, racing updates, event features and raffles are available by subscribing to "NCM eNews" at: corvettemuseum.org/ncmenews. Dedicated to the mission of celebration, education and preservation, the Museum is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT - located at Exit 28 on I-65 in Bowling Green, KY.