Friday 1 January 2016

Sinkhole swallows man in South Wales.

Officials from the Coal Authority and Bridgend Council are investigating after a man was swallowed by a sinkhole in the village of Nantyfyllon in Bridgend County, South Wales on 31 December 2015. The incident happened at about 8.00 am local time, when the hole, which measured roughly 3 m across and 4 m deep opened up in a pavement; the man was rescued uninjured by the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, but some nearby homes have been evacuated as a precaution.

The 31 December 2015 Nantyffyllon sinkhole. Benjamin Wright/PA.

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.

 The approximate location of the 31 December 2015 Nantyffyllon sinkhole. Google Maps.

On this occasion the sinkhole has been linked to very high rainfall levels associated with Atlantic Storm Frank which are thought to have washed away sediments beneath the pavement exposing an old and undocumented mine working. Very high levels of rainfall were observed on mountains close to the village prior to the event, with runoff flowing through the village.

Ground collapses thought to be associated with old mine workings, collapsed mines or mine entrances, unsealed mine entrances or gas or water emissions from old mine workings in the UK can be reported to the Coal Authority here.

See also... rescued from disused mine in Ceredigion, Wales.                                       Two men described as being in their seventies were rescued from the disused Bwlch Glas Mine near Talybont in Ceredigion, Mid Wales, at about 5.45... Neath turned orange by mining run-off.
On Friday 24 September 2011 anglers on the River Neath in South Wales reported that a stretch of the river between Abergarwed and Neath Town had turned a muddy orange colour, and that a number of fish could be seen to be visibly in distress. at Gleision Colliery, Godre'r Graig, West Glamorgan.
The Gleision Colliery is roughly 18 km to the northeast of Swansea. It is Wales's smallest coal-mine, with less than 20 employees. Gleision is a drift mine, a mine that is cut in from the side of a hill, so that it is possible to...
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