• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sinkhole swallows car

The Local · 1 Nov 2010, 16:00

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.

Story continues below…

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
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd