Town swallowed by sinkhole

Bayou Corne, Louisiana is being swallowed by a massive sinkhole. Yes, the whole town. OK, it is a small town. But it's definitely a massive industrial disaster. Tim Murphy reports for Mother Jones.

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  1. Texas Brine Company. Responsible care. Good chemistry at work. Nice catchy slogan, so obviously they are not too blame.

    It's the other companies that created the caverns through injection mining? "The hundreds of salt caverns that honeycomb the substrata, as companies like Texas Brine take pains to point out, are mostly safe, most of the time." Pass the buck and CYA.

    Incredible.

  2. It would have been nice if the reporter had provided any link whatsoever between this Texas Brine Company and the sinkhole, beyond "the sinkhole is under land they lease." There really need to be some supporting facts between that bit and the jump to "and here are all the people whose lives are being ruined by Texas Brine," or the whole thing just looks like a speculative, agenda-driven hit-piece.

    (Important note: I've never before heard of "Texas Brine Company" before today, and I'm not saying that this isn't their fault... I'm just saying that the piece as presented presents no reason to conclude that it is.)

  3. I couldn't see where a town had been swallowed. The hole looks to be in the middle of swampland.. Did houses and other buildings get sucked in? OK, people were evacuated, but was that as a precaution or are their houses gone? I don't understand why a link to oil and gas was made (very briefly). I'd like to understand that better. The whole report was very thin on any technical detail and laden with townsfolks' opinion and speculation.

  4. I think those caverns are naturally all over the place in that area already, and the issue would be unsafe land use causing one to collapse, not some hush hush industrial underground water-filled cavern technology.

  5. hotel says:

    Maybe. But there have also been disastrous salt mine collapses before (caused by accidental penetration of the mine when drilling for oil...) as well:

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