Several vehicles traveling on Highway 69, north of Jewell, struck a large sinkhole early Wednesday morning.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s office received a call at around 5 a.m. on Wednesday reporting the sinkhole.

Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Timmons said multiple cars and a semi-truck struck the hole. Six cars were towed from the scene.

“It’s fortunate that there weren’t any motorcycles traveling on the roadway at that time,” Timmons said. “The hole could easily have caused a fatality.”

The sinkhole was about 10 feet wide, 12 feet long and 10 feet deep. Timmons speculated that the hole was likely caused by the collapse of a drainage tile, due to recent heavy rains.

The sinkhole is north of Jewell at 320th Street. Both lanes of Highway 69 are closed between Hamilton County Road D41 and Iowa Highway 175. A detour is rerouting traffic to Interstate 35.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies and Iowa State Patrol troopers were on the scene until employees from the Iowa Department of Transportation arrived.

Information regarding the extent of damage to the vehicles is currently unavailable. There were no serious injuries. The roadway has been closed for repairs.