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 Post subject: Man Dies when mine opens up under his house!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Hamburg, NJ
Whoa, found this story this morning, What an unfortunate thing to happen. I have heard of it happening, even in NJ, however it never resulted in a death..

ALTA, California (AP) -- It was like a scene from a horror film: A 27-year-old man plummeted into a gaping hole that suddenly opened beneath a house, trapping him beneath foundation rubble and killing him.

Authorities say the home, built in the 1980s, may have been sitting atop a decades-old underground mine. Recent rains could have softened the ground under the home, in an isolated area near Lake Alta.

"It's unbelievable," Placer County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. "From the front of the house, it's absolutely normal. Then, in the middle of the house, is this enormous hole." (Watch for the gaping dimensions of the hole -- 1:54)

The victim was awake and on the ground floor about 9:30 p.m. Friday when the concrete foundation near the kitchen gave way, sending him plunging into to the ground, Erwin said.

Rescuers had trouble reaching him because the ground began to shift, creating an unsafe situation for work crews. Authorities returned to the home Sunday to try and remove the man's body, though geologists were still testing the house's soundness.

The man's identity hadn't been positively established.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ... index.html

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:28 pm
Posts: 1764
Location: Winnemucca, NV
How sad. This just goes to show how careless development can prove disastrous when it comes to building over abandoned mines. This has already happened here in the Highlands and particularly in Mine Hill. What happens is hungry developers haphardly bulldoze over and into mine pits which in many cases are deep shafts that have collapsed forming a temporary plug near the surface. They are usually pretty obvious, especially with the tell tale tailing piles nearby. The holes are simply filled in, sometimes with the adjacent tailing pile (which is usually less than what was taken out of the hole) and the entire site leveled to rid evidence of all former mining activity. Then they start building a foundation, then a house or a larger building, and sometimes as much as 70 years later, the shaft reopens -- underneath!

In the case of Mine Hill, one shaft opened up in someone's basement but fortunately no one fell in or was down there at the time of collapse. But the truth is, the development in Mine Hill is without regard to the shafts beneath it and had someone actually paid attention when Mine Hill transitioned into a suburban community, these problems could have been avoided. There are ways to properly cap shafts but even then, they should be clearly marked to indicate their precise position and should NEVER be built over, now matter how strong the cap. Let's hope no deaths occur locally because of this carelessness.

"If you thought old, abandoned mines were only in the west, then you haven't been to!"

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