Massive Sinkhole Closes Highway
updated 7:44 p.m. ET May 7, 2008

DAISETTA, Texas - A Liberty County highway was closed Wednesday afternoon because of a massive sinkhole that gobbled up everything in its path, KPRC Local 2 reported. Slideshow:Massive Sinkhole Expands To 400 Yards

The sinkhole, which is 400 yards wide and an eighth of a mile long, is located in a rural area near Highway 770, just north of Daisetta.

Officials said they expect the hole to expand into the highway, so traffic was rerouted in the area.

Sky 2 flew over the area and showed several tanks, construction equipment and trees fall into the expanding hole. At least one light pole was knocked over.

"The hole is getting bigger. It's working its way toward the highway. We have cracks all the way up to Highway 770," said Chief Les Hulsey of the Daisetta Police Department.

Hulsey said that so far, the sinkhole is not a danger to the public.

"We only have one pipeline we're watching, but it appears it's going to be a liquid line and not a gas line, so it's going to have oil condensation in it. We don't really see any danger in that," he said.

Oil gathered at the bottom of the sinkhole.

The property was described as a disposal well.

"They inject salt water when they're drilling oil wells in the area. They store the salt water and inject it back into the ground," Hulsey said. "That well is still pressured up and holding pressure. The sinkhole hasn't affected it."

The sinkhole started shortly before 10 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

Traffic was diverted to FM 834.

Daisetta is about 50 miles northeast of Houston.


Original article: MSNBC
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