Sinkhole the size of 20 football fields opens up in Louisiana ... and it could burst into flames
2013-11-18 0:00


Louisiana sinkhole that has sucked in trees and swamps as it spread to the size of 20 football fields is now at risk of exploding.

Residents of Bayou Corne were evacuated a year ago when the sinkhole, which is emitting natural gases, opened up.

The gas exploration company that has been blamed for causing the problem after a mine collapsed, has resorted to digging relief wells to try to disperse the gas.

Louisiana state is suing Texas Brine as it tries to recoup $8 million used to deal with the sinkhole, including bringing in a team of scientists, according to The Verge.

While no homes have yet been sucked in, officials warn that the gases being emitted could ignite, which would leave the Louisiana swamp looking like ’the gates of Hell’.

Expanding: The Bayou Corne sinkhole covers 24 acres and has been sucking in trees and swamp.

In a similar case, a crater caused by Soviet geologists drilling in Turkmenistan in the 1970s has been a fiery pit for more than 40 years after the natural gases being released were lit.

Explosive: Natural gas building up in the sinkhole could cause it to ignite like this one in Turkmenistan.

The Louisiana sinkhole, which is expected to expand to 50 acres, is currently 25 acres wide and 350ft deep in some points. Methane bubbling up from it has also escaped into an aquifer.

Experts fear that if oil and gas rising to the surface became trapped it could build up in a crevice and then explode.


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READ: Massive Louisiana sinkhole caused by oil industry just keeps on growing

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