UPDATE at 2:25p ET: Local news reports cavern filled with radioactive material may have collapsed -- "Concerns swarm about what could leak out" around sinkhole (VIDEO)
Title: Louisiana probes cause of massive bayou sinkhole
Author: Melissa Gray
Date: August 10, 2012
Measurements taken Monday showed the sinkhole measures 324 feet in diameter and is 50 feet deep, but in one corner it goes down 422 feet, said John Boudreaux, director of the Office of Homeland Security in Assumption Parish, about 30 miles south of Baton Rouge.
The sinkhole appeared August 3, more than two months after local residents started noticing bubbles in the water. The bubbles grew in number and frequency, and in some spots they made the bayou look like a boiling crawfish pot, said Dennis Landry
Assumption Parish police ordered the evacuation of all residents in the area
Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said Thursday he is now concerned the sinkhole is close to a well containing 1.5 million barrels of liquid butane, a highly volatile liquid that turns into a highly flammable vapor upon release. A breach of that well, he said, could be catastrophic.
[Landry] said he suspects a cavern collapse is to blame, and he said there’s a fear in the community that a further collapse could enlarge the sinkhole and endanger a wider area.
“I believe in the good book, and they say in there that all things shall pass, and this too shall pass, but it remains to be seen in what form it will pass,” Landry said.
Published: August 10th, 2012 at 12:59 pm ET