UK

Durham Sinkhole Is Terrifyingly Huge... And It's Only Getting Bigger

27/08/2014 13:49 BST | Updated 27/08/2014 13:59 BST

A colossal, sheep-swallowing sinkhole has appeared in County Durham - and it is only getting bigger.

The gigantic chasm, which is so deep the bottom cannot be seen at one end, is thought to be the result of rocks and soil rushing into mine workings deep beneath the surface.

The hole was apparently three times smaller when it was first discovered on Thursday morning, the Telegraph reported.

Farmer John Hensby, 71, whose house is just 80 metres from the sinkhole Cowshill, has voiced fears that the 100ft-wide hole is at risk of widening even further with heavy downpours forecast for next week.

"The hole is stable at the moment, but we know there is torrential rain coming and the hole will get bigger – which is a real worry," he told the BBC.

"We don't think our lives are in mortal danger or anything like that, but all the local farmers have been warned as we don't want any sheep wandering over and getting swallowed up.

Hensby said small holes have appeared in the area from time to time, but none as large as the current sinkhole have ever been seen before.

"Long term," he said, "what will happen to a hole so big? We will just have to wait and see."

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