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Former mines to be inspected after landslide kills three

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Former mines to be inspected after landslide kills three
Photo: DPA
09:00 CEST+02:00
Four days after a landslide pulled homes into a lake killing three people in Nachterstedt, the state of Saxony-Anhalt’s premier announced on Wednesday that all lakes made from former open-pit mines will be inspected.

Wolfgang Böhmer told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that Saturday’s catastrophe will have consequences for old mine clean-up, saying bodies of water and surrounding slopes connected to former mines in the region will be inspected.

Böhmer told Deutschlandfunk that the areas needed new technology and measuring stations to monitor safety.

He also said he feared more landslides in the future.

“We won’t be able to stop all of them,” he said.

Three people are still missing after one and a half homes near Nachterstedt collapsed with the ground beneath them and slid into Concordia Lake, a former open-pit mine filled with water.

According to the police, the piece of ground that collapsed was 350-metres long by 120 metres, approximately the size of six football pitches. The house that fell into the nearby lake was 120 metres from its shore and fell 100 metres to be completely submerged in water. More than 40 people had to leave their homes in the area. A part of a street also went into the lake.

What caused the collapse is still not yet known, but some officials believe there might be underground mines around the lake. Authorities have warned of further landslides and put a strict prohibition on use of the lake, which was a coal mine between 1865 and 1990, then flooded in the mid 1990s.

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