A sinkhole 20 by 30 meters (65 by 98 feet) in size has been found near a Uralkali mine in Russia's Perm region. As Mining.com reports, while stunningly no casualties have been reported so far, the situation is expected to worsen as locals fear that the hole could get bigger and swallow their houses.
The sinkhole was first discovered by Uralkali's Solikamsk-2 mine workers on November 18. According to local emergency services, it's located some two miles from the mine itself, in an old abandoned mine.
Old, out-of-use garden patches were affected by the accident, and there is no danger to locals, as the sinkhole is in no close proximity to any residential buildings, the company said.
There are no "catastrophic" effects of the sinkhole neither for the company, nor for the locals, Uralkali CEO Dmitry Osipov said, adding that the incident has been localised.
Before the giant hole appeared near the town of Solikamsk, the company, which is Russia's biggest potash miner, evacuated workers at the Solikamsk-2 mine, due to the inflow of saline water. Operations at the site have been halted, and the level of underground water is being monitored.
Locals fear that the hole could get bigger and swallow their houses, which are some 2 miles from the sinkhole now. Regional authorities say the sinkhole could get bigger, but would still be of no danger to people.
The flooded mine, Solikamsk-2, is connected to another mine, Solikamsk-1, which is causing concerns among people in the region. The underground tunnels linking the two were walled up decades ago, but water would only need time to break through, people fear.
* * *
The mine's location...
* * *
On the bright side, now Putin has somewhere big enough to store his gold and imagine the GDP growth from fillingh the hole back in!!