Land Subsidence Forms Giant Hole in Mining Area
    2011-02-15 12:34:11     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Jiang
 

A giant hole formed in the ground as a result of land subsidence which occurred at a mining area in Ezhou City of central China's Hubei Province on the early morning of Monday, February 14, 2011. [Photo: icpress]

A large-scale land subsidence occurred at a mining area in Ezhou City of central China's Hubei Province on the early morning of Monday, resulting in a 5,200-square-meter hole in the ground.

The incident did not cause any casualties as production at the site was halted at the time and the workers all had gone home for the Spring Festival holiday, the Hubei-based Chutianjinbao newspaper reported.

The land subsidence involves three shafts at the Datongkeng mining area in Ding'ao village, Tingzu Township. The pit, measuring 80 meters long, 65 meters wide and 40 meters deep, was most likely formed as a result of mining activities that had hollowed out the ground from below, the report quoted experts as saying.

Police have cordoned off the periphery 100 meters around the pit. Fissures were detected in fields on the hills and other mining shafts near the site of the subsidence.

A man on duty near the site surnamed Li told the newspaper that he saw a strong air current blasting egg-sized rocks out of the shaft around 8.40pm Sunday with sounds resembling train steam whistles. Local residents also reported that they were awoken from sleep by extremely loud sounds and tremors.

Meanwhile, the local government is making plans to evacuate local villagers whose homes had developed cracks, partly due to the overdrafting of groundwater by the mining shafts.

The Tingzhu Township government has sealed the road leading to the site and put in place a round-the-clock monitoring squad, the paper said.

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