Sunday, 20 November 2016

Eleven people injured after sinkhole swallows five cars in Algiers.

Eleven people have been injured, six of them requiring hospital treatment, after a massive sinkhole opened up on an Algiers road on the evening of Friday 18 November 2016. The hole appeared on the Ben Akoun Highway to the west of the city, and is described as being almost as wide as the road and deep enough to swallow a car.

Repair teams surveying the Ben Akoun Highway sinkhole on Saturday morning. BBC.

Sinkholes are generally caused by water eroding soft limestone or unconsolidated deposits from beneath, causing a hole that works its way upwards and eventually opening spectacularly at the surface. Where there are unconsolidated deposits at the surface they can infill from the sides, apparently swallowing objects at the surface, including people, without trace.

In this case the sinkhole is believed to have been caused by the failure of a sewage pipe beneath the road, which led to water washing away sediments beneath the road until the collapse occurred.

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