Mystery Sinkhole Threatens Bayou Corne, Louisiana

Youtube/Screen capture

Toxic Oil & Gas Soup

There are so many environmental disasters at any given time, sometimes it gets a bit depressing. Some are natural, others are caused by humans, and some are more mysterious. Few make it to the front page of the New York Times, although many probably should (or they should at least get a bit more attention and investigation by experts).

One such occurrence that's been flying mostly under the radar so far is the Bayou Corne Sinkhole in Louisiana. It's about 45 miles south of Baton Rouge, and after opening up in early August, it has grown to at least 8 acres in size, filling up with "water, underground brines, oil and natural gas from deep below the surface". This forced the evacuation of 300 residents the nearby town Assumption. "Four months later, officials continue to tell residents that they do not know when they will be able to return home. A few have chosen to ignore the order and have stayed in their homes, but the neighborhood is now quiet and nearly vacant." Some cleanup has started, but pollutants have already contaminated nearby waterways.

Many residents are blaming mining company Texas Brine, saying that one of their production holes below collapsed and caused the sinkhole to form. The company denies responsibility.

The video above was sent to us by Alicia heilig. Thanks Alicia!

For another angle, there's a flyover video shot from a helicopter available here.

Mike Ludwig at Truthout has a great writeup, as does our friend George Dvorsky at io9.

See also: Shocking! Thousands of Mutilated Shark Fins Drying on Hong Kong Rooftops

Tags: louisiana | Oil