• Germany's news in English
 

Sinkhole swallows car

Published: 01 Nov 2010 16:00 GMT+01:00

The crater, measuring some 40 by 15 metres, appeared in the town of Schmalkalden around 3 am, a police spokesperson said. A nearby resident heard the noise and called police.

The hole is believed to be some 20 metres deep, she added.

No-one was injured in the incident, but another vehicle near the hole is in danger of falling into the hole.

Click here for more photos of the sinkhole.

Nine homes containing some 25 residents were evacuated, and a large contingent of police and fire fighters are still securing the site. During a press conference Monday afternoon, police said they did not know when it would be safe for residents to return.

According to head of the Thuringia mining authority, Hartmut Kießling, the sinkhole happened naturally and authorities are working to find ways to fill it as quickly as possible.

Jan Katzschmann, an official from the state geology service, said that a large underground cavity had likely collapsed, and further slides could be possible in the coming days.

Their main concern is stabilising the area, Thuringia Environment Minister Jürgen Reinholz said, adding that the situation remains delicate because the use of heavy machinery to fill the hole may cause further damage.

Germany is no stranger to dangerous ground shifts resulting from old mines.

A similar event occurred in April 2010 in the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt when a massive section of earth abruptly collapsed outside Bernburg, leaving a 40 metre-deep crater.

In January 2010 two homes in the town of Tiefenort in Thuringia were evacuated after a landslide opened up a two-metre crater nearby. That town is located near the site of a former calcium salt mine, and there was another landslide about eight years ago in the same area that was filled with concrete.

And in July 2009, three people were killed when their house collapsed into a lake in the Saxony–Anhalt town of Nachterstedt. The area near the town was extensively mined for lignite, or brown coal, during the 19th century, meaning the ground was shot through with hundreds of tunnels.

DPA/ka

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:36 November 1, 2010 by jamano
About a couple of decades ago in the town of Bayreuth, Oberfranken, a large crater opened and sucked in a bus. It was then discovered that underneath the town there is an extremely extensive net of catacombs from ancient time well forgotten.
15:30 November 1, 2010 by William Thirteen
i knew a girl like that...
14:23 November 2, 2010 by adipk
May be we must ask immigrant for this non sense.

Anyway this need a deep research. Why this is happening. So far it was not disaster but it could become a disaster.

Researcher must rush to this focal point.
Today's headlines
Greece crisis
How will Germany react to the Greek vote?
Angela Merkel has some more sleepless nights ahead of her. Photo: DPA

How will Germany react to the Greek vote?

Now that Greeks have voted against accepting tough austerity conditions in return for a fresh tranche of bailout cash, The Local asked Professor Michael Wohlgemuth of Open Europe Berlin how Chancellor Angela Merkel, other political leaders and the German public may respond. READ  

Post strike ends Monday as agreement reached
Photo: DPA

Post strike ends Monday as agreement reached

Public sector union Verdi has reached a final agreement with Deutsche Post after a strike that lasted four weeks, meaning postal service should return to normal starting on Tuesday. READ  

Women's World Cup
Löw defends Neid as critics circle after defeat
Silvia Neid congratulates England after Germany's 1-0 defeat. Photo: DPA

Löw defends Neid as critics circle after defeat

World Cup winning coach Joachim Löw defended his female counterpart Silvia Neid on Monday after Germany fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat to England in the third place play-off of the Women's World Cup. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel calls for special eurozone Greece summit
Over 60 percent of Greeks voted 'No' in the referendum. Photo: DPA

Merkel calls for special eurozone Greece summit

Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the outcome of Greece's referendum with French President Francois Hollande in a telephone call Sunday evening, with both agreeing the 'No' vote must be respected, a German government spokesman said. READ  

Hamburg districts make UNESCO heritage list
An eightfold composite picture of different views of the Chilehaus (Chile House) and the Sprinkenhof in Hamburg. Photo: EPA/Christian Charisius/dpa/picture alliance

Hamburg districts make UNESCO heritage list

The UN cultural agency on Sunday designated Hamburg's historic maritime warehouse and business districts, boasting early 20th century German brick architecture, as World Heritage sites. READ  

AfD ditches Lucke as party swings to right
Frauke Petry, the new leader of the AfD. Photo: Lukas Schulze/picture alliance/dpa

AfD ditches Lucke as party swings to right

Germany's Alternative for Germany (AfD) party ousted its co-founder and frontman Bernd Lucke on Saturday to elect a Frauke Petry as sole party leader, signalling a shift in focus to immigration from its anti-euro origins. READ  

Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture
A fissure on the Autobahn near Heidelberg. Photo: DPA

Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture

The heatwave sweeping across the country may have Germans flocking to the sea this weekend, but the extreme temperatures are also causing Autobahns to break apart. READ  

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats

A vast Nazi mega-complex meant as holiday homes for German workers and later used by the Soviets as a Cold War barracks is about to be turned into luxury flats. READ  

Greece crisis
'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble
A poster of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in Athens reads "For five years he has sucked your blood. Now tell him NO." Photo: DPA

'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble

UPDATE: Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Friday that there would be no quick release of bailout funds to Greece after the country's referendum on whether to accept its creditors' terms on Sunday. READ  

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp
The new Deutsche Post stamp showing the Dalai Lama. Photo: DPA

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp

Pro-Tibet activists have created a new limited-edition stamp featuring the Dalai Lama to mark the Tibetan spiritual leader's 80th birthday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,912
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd